Opinion & Letters

Views expressed in Opinion & Editorial do not necessarily reflect the views of Inland Empire Community News Group (IECN)

Opinions are good, but action is better

By Anthony Victoria

I understand the outcry of residents that view San Bernardino City’s Code Enforcement’s recent removal of illegal vendors as unfair and unjust. After all, these people are merely trying to make a living with what little opportunity they receive.

Supporters of the agency’s actions argue that these vendors are taking advantage of the system by not paying for sales permits or vending licenses, while avoiding paying taxes. The opposing side fervently emphasizes the necessity of these predominately Latino vendors to make an honest decent living.

Quite frankly, I was glad there was an outpour of debate and opinion on the matter—that is, until I browsed on social media and saw some of the reactions from some of our younger residents.

Twitter user @flowerxmouth tweeted the following: “You guys have NOTHING better to do than shut down someone who’s just trying to work? Like I don’t know solving REAL crimes?”

Resident Jason Gomez posted the following on Facebook: “Some *expletive* up *expletive* that I seen like 20 mins ago. The city took this hard working man just trying to make some money for his family fruit away. Why can’t they just let him be or tell him to go home or something instead of taking his stuff away? San Bernardino is so *expletive* up. There are other bad situations going on in the city and they decide to do this.”

While the posts aren’t hysterical in nature, as some of the others I came across, they are rooted on emotional responses to a problem that requires intense constructive debate and formulations to solutions. Which comes to my next point: Why are these young people not attending city council meetings? Most importantly: Have these individuals approached community organizations to inquire on what they could do to solve the problem?

My guess is no.

And while I understand that not all residents have the luxury of investing large amounts of their time keeping up to date with the tumultuous politics of San Bernardino, it does not defeat the notion that they can become more involved in their community.

Bluntly put, the majority of younger residents complain about the plight of the city but do little to invest back. They don’t walk the walk.

Opinions are good, but action is better. Why you may ask?

Because taking action does not necessarily mean you need to become a Saul Alinsky, Fred Ross, or Martin Luther King, Jr. to contribute to lasting change. There are numerous productive ways people can do to impact the community, without committing too much or too little.

One can make phone calls or office visits to elected representatives to voice their opinions on issues that are affecting their livelihood, attend city wide San Bernardino Police Department community forums to provide input, or take large scale approaches like canvassing the streets to speak to residents and organize groups to rally around vital community issues.

To keep on track with the Illegal Street Vending situation, several local groups such as the Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC), the city’s Hispanic Advisory Council, and the Justice for Immigrants Coalition of Southern California (JFIC) are holding meetings to further investigate what is taking place by speaking to vendors that are affected and holding meetings with law enforcement to address their concerns with the issue. All are actively seeking further community input and involvement.

With the right attitude and commitment from all sectors of the community, the vendor issue can be resolved effectively. It will take time, there will be frustration, and there will be fierce debates. Nevertheless, I believe with the right attitude and approach from the common folk, a proper solution can benefit both sides. Advocacy, Determination, and Education are the words that come to mind when speaking of economic, political, and social change.

The aura of Democracy allows us to weigh on what we believe is the best solution to critical problems. However, that process is futile if apathy, ignorance and miscommunication are rampant. The ranters on social media need to understand that nothing ever gets done by standing back, tweeting about “How *expletive* San Bernardino’s leadership is.

My challenge to my generation is: What are we doing to ensure we become those next leaders to thrust the city into progress?

I think it’s time for us to answer the call.

Setting the record straight on piano strings

“How many strings does a piano have?” Maestro Frank Fetta asked as a few hands shot up in the air. “… 88 because there’s 88 keys and a string for each.” Since I stress accuracy in my seminars and instrument design, I must comment. I know there are (on most pianos) 88 keys with hammers that strike a tuned string. But each hammer for those keys may strike multiple strings stretched to create a resonance that “sings.” A single hammer may strike strings adjacent to a single string, from 59 triad strings, 17 duplex strings and 12 bass singles — a total of 223 taught strings. Of course, the number of strings falling under the hammer can vary among pianos. Stepping the piano pedal down on the floor actually shifts the keyboard so that a hammer strikes only one of the stretched strings, as the other strings resonate in sympathy. A tender, slightly softer and less-percussive sound. Since that shift allows the hammer to strike selectively (originally just one string, or “cord”) they named it “una corda.” I’m a conductor, not a piano-man, and never played one on TV (although I did spend the night at an Express motel) and I do like Billy Joel. Just want to set the record straight.

Paul E. Kealy, San Bernardino

Rep. Aguilar must cut ties with Planned Parenthood

I watched a Youtube video of Congressman Pete Aguilar saying he wasn’t concerned about Planned Parenthood selling baby body parts nationally. He went on to say the local Planned Parenthood chapter told him they do not do sell body parts. Congressman Aguilar also said the video exposing this shocking practice was “heavily edited.” But what about the completely unedited version of the video that is also available online? Anyone with the time can watch the full version and see that the edited version was not edited in a deceptive manner. If Congressman Aguilar will not cut all ties with Planned Parenthood, then he should be replaced with someone who has a moral compass.

Dorthea Cram, San Bernardino

Government programs hurt more than help

In reference to the role of Medicare and Medicaid, letter writer Mike McCarthy left out one very important role — the one Medicare and Medicaid played in the medical industry. These two programs enabled the charges for medical treatment in doctor’s offices and the hospitals to rise beyond the affordability of the common people. I was there. Immediately after these two programs went into effect in 1965, charges for medical care began to increase, and those increases have not stopped. Part of the increased charges were forced on the doctors and hospitals by the additional paperwork required by these two programs. In 1965, the charge for a semi-private room in most hospitals was about $32 per day and office calls for doctors was about $8. The present extremely high charges do not compare with the adjusted inflation rate. The exorbitant charges would be impossible without the government subsidies of Medicare and Medicaid. The increased charges forced uninsured people to seek insurance coverage. This was an added incentive for the medical industry to continue increasing charges. The latest government program, the Affordable Care Act, provides another financial pool to encourage the medical industry to increase charges. These two programs have hurt, rather than helped the medical care for all of the people.

Lindon T. Sparks, Barstow

Never mind the criminals, let’s not forget the victims

The headline of this article should be enough to make us all enraged. Why is it our responsibility to pay for this surgery? Rodney Jones is depressed; perhaps he should have thought about that when he committed murder. He is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for killing someone. The state said, “It is a medical necessity.” How is this even possible? My hard-earned dollars do not support this and should not go toward paying for a surgery that is not life-threatening on a prisoner, period. What is happening to our country? Now I am the one depressed!

Teresa Harton, Rancho Cucamonga


West Nile Virus: Public health officials offer tips to stay protected

By Yazmin Alvarez

Public health officials announced Aug. 18 the first confirmed death from West Nile Virus in San Bernardino County.

A total of five West Nile Virus cases have been confirmed within the county this year, officials said and the first death occurred in a previously reported case, according to a news release. In 2014, there were eight people confirmed to have the virus, but there were no deaths, officials said.

There are 36 reported cases throughout the state this year, which exceeds the state’s five-year average of 23 cases.

“We are greatly saddened by this death that has occurred in San Bernardino County. We extend our deepest condolences to the family. We continue to see an increase of West Nile Virus activity throughout the county and therefore, we strongly encourage that the public takes appropriate precautionary measures to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” said Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, Health Officer.

The West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. San Bernardino County health officials said there has been an increase in West Nile activity throughout the county. Signs and symptoms of the virus may include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache. Most people infected with the virus have no symptoms, officials said in the release, however, some people may develop severe symptoms which can lead to brain inflammation or paralysis.

“People over 50 years old should be especially cautious, as they are more likely to develop serious illness if they contract the virus,” Ohikhuare said.

But the most effective way to avoid the West Nile Infection is to prevent mosquito bites, officials added.

Residents can protect themselves from mosquito bites by taking the following precautions:

• Limiting outdoor activity at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.

• Wear shoes, socks, long-sleeved shirts and long pants that are loose fitting and light colored while outdoors.

• Remove or drain all standing water around your home or property to reduce areas where mosquitoes may breed such as pet bowls, flower pots, birdbaths, ponds, old tires, buckets, clogged gutters or puddles from leaky sprinklers.

• Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or products containing IR3535. When using DEET, be sure to read and follow the label instructions.

• Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and are in good condition. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.

• Report green or neglected pools by calling 1-800-442-2283. Press 3 when prompted.

Health officials say the public can participate in helping track down the West Nile Virus by reporting all dead birds on the state’s West Nile’s website at www.westnile.ca.gov or by calling 877-968-2473.

For more information on WNV, visit the San Bernardino County Mosquito and Vector Control Program  CLICK HERE or call the Communicable Disease Section (CDS) at 1 (800) 722-4794.


Climate change always happened, it’s nothing new

No one is denying climate change. The climate has been changing ever since the Earth was created. What is denied is that it is caused by humans — the climate change hoax that was created by the left — it was global cooling in the 1970s, then became global warming in the 1990s, and what it is being called at the moment was created to push the socialist agenda of the left and take trillions of our tax dollars, not to mention the making of energy very expensive and difficult. So I shall keep repeating this truth until you truth deniers get it.

Greg Roberg, Highland

Fix urban decay and blight in San Bernardino

In 1986 (when the city of San Bernardino was in great shape), the wife and I moved to the upper dessert, had a nice home and maintained it. We sold it in 2013, moved back to San Bernardino and took over the house that my in-laws owned since 1973. They both passed in 2012. We had the house repainted along with the inside. It looks very good. We then took a ride to some of the places to just look and we were very surprised at the condition of the city. There are places that just look disgusting. Take a drive along Baseline Street or Highland Avenue. Go up and down Sierra Way and Waterman Avenue — most of the places are 99 Cent stores, tattoo shops, etc. Gone are the beautiful places. Central City Mall is a joke as well is the Inland Center. I swear it looked like South Los Angeles. Why doesn’t the city do something and bring back what was once our beautiful city? There are panhandlers at almost every corner. This is the big problem. They are not out of work. The problem is they want money for drugs. Why can’t the city put them all in jail or something? Crack heads and panhandlers. Get rid of this problem and maybe the city will be reborn and beautiful again. Bring back the Route 66. Bring back the stores that were in the Inland Center and the Central City Mall. Change and vote for a committee that will do something about this mess. Then you will enjoy the city as it was, not as it is now.

Charles Bartley, San Bernardino

Challenges to vagrancy loitering and curfew laws

I know that our San Bernardino Police Department has been taxed to the limit of being on top of crimes. But something has to be done now, even if it’s the National Guard or outside assistance. I see people all over town that are mental cases that need to be in a facility. We have people walking around with $350 stolen shopping carts that shoppers pay for in grocery costs. If you go up and down E or D Streets where businesses are boarded up or even houses that have the plywood pulled down, you can even see people trespassing and breaking and entering. The homeless are on sidewalks, parks and porches sleeping. We have loitering laws that need to be upheld. Recently, I was parked in front of the police station and across the street in a vacant lot there was group in plain sight passing around a “joint,” drinking in public, and up to no good, while police vehicles one after another pull out of the police station right across the street and nothing is done. Again, I understand our police are taxed to the maximum, but we need outside help to take back our city. Not next year, but now. Why should hard-working taxpayers be afraid of walking on the streets or taking their families to the park?

Steve Portias, San Bernardino

Social media shames the wrong people

I feel that social media shaming doesn’t go too far, but that it is often aimed at the wrong targets. The recent killing of Cecil the lion is a good example of how people on social media networks publicly shame the wrong people. Even though Cecil was an important lion, illegal (or possibly legal) poaching and hunting for sport happens on a daily basis. How Walter Palmer became so famous in social media is a question I still ask, and why more important people aren’t being publicly shamed. There are celebrities that do horrific acts, and they should be publicly shamed for it, but the celebrities that do minor acts should be left alone, and regular people that do those horrific acts should take their place. Public shaming was done in the past against people who performed acts that were morally incorrect, and with the advent of social media, it has turned into something almost exclusively for celebrities. I feel like it should go back to how it was before: an activity reserved for people who perform major acts against society.

Julian DuBranksy, Montclair


The Tech Center-San Bernardino is No Good for business

By Anthony Victoria

I recently took my iPhone 6 into the Tech Center at the Inland Center Mall to be fixed by “so-called” technology experts.

Two months and $220 later, there is still no solution to my device’s problem.

What began as a hardware issue (the phone’s screen was badly cracked and the Touch ID button removed) turned into a nightmare. Fellow residents: if you are looking for quality tech repair services DO NOT visit this business. Not only do they lack the proper insight and training to conduct repairs; the establishment’s representatives and management lack the proper communication skills required to deal with the public.

Several business review websites list The Tech Center as a two star business at best. Most reviews by customers have been notably negative. A person by the name of “Tina G” on Yelp left a review on July 13. She alluded to the rudeness of the technicians.

o“He then wanted my ID. I questioned why he needed it. He explained that he needed to match up the name when I picked it up. [Couldn’t] I tell [him] my info for the work invoice and pick it up with that and my ID when it was repaired? He argued with me about why he needed to copy all my driver license information down. He then said that he can refuse service to me.”

I also had a similar experience with an experienced technician. In fact, this gentleman is among the management at the Tech Center.

As mentioned, since my phone’s screen was entirely cracked, in order for the screen and the Touch ID button to be replaced, the technician needed to remove the cable (which links to the Touch ID button) from the metal tray. When I received the phone back, I was initially impressed with the screen. However, I soon noticed that the Touch ID button was very loose. In addition, the speaker box (which worked even with the cracked screen) was no longer functioning.

What really made me question the legitimacy of the repair center was the infamous “error code 53” that has affected many iPhone users. When I tried to update my iOS software system to the latest version, this code appeared on my MacBook. Soon when I tried to turn on the phone (and every time thereafter), it would immediately display a message that directed me to plug in the phone for an iTunes update. It didn’t make sense.

I proceeded to ask the technicians as to why this was the issue. There was no answer; no real effort to try and solve the problem. Therefore, I went ahead and did a little research.

In browsing through several Tech forums online, I found that many people have experienced this problem. An Apple Store technician explained on their website’s discussions page that replacing either the cable or Touch ID button with an aftermarket part would make it difficult to conduct iOS software updates. Hence, the issue with the iTunes screen pop up was due to a hardware malfunction in the phone.

I went back to the mall to explain this to The Tech Center management. Respectfully, my friend and I explained in detail what we had found on the web and suggested to them that it was most likely the case with my phone. In a very condescending manner, the technician said that they knew what the problem was and that it was going to be fine. I went ahead and told him, “Sir, I did the research, and respectfully, I’m very positive that this may be what is taking place.”

Looking a bit agitated, the technician responded by saying, “Can you let me do my job? Otherwise, I can give you the phone back and not fix anything.”

I was awestruck by the quality of service this man was providing to me. Where is the accountability? Isn’t the customer always right?

This place is a disservice to the community and a shame to technicians who strive to provide great service through great skill set and knowledge.

Think twice when it comes to the Tech Center.

Re: Oral History Project Receives Funding

Dear Sir: Having read the article: “Oral History Project receives funding”, we found part of your article offensive and far removed from the truth. All of us, Joe Lucero, Rudy Oliva, Frank Sanchez, Bobby Vasquez and myself, Rodolfo Serrano were equally involved in the writing of our four Volumes,“Recollections and Reflections…South Colton”. To suggest that they were members of my committee is totally false and misleading. There was NO committee. All of us wrote on the subjects we felt most comfortable and were most familiar. The purpose of our endeavor was to capture the rich and unique history of South Colton during the 1940’s (there was some spill-over from the late 1930’s into the early 1950’s). While the addition of South Colton oral history would certainly add another dimension to our four volumes on the history of South Colton, it would be wise if Dr. Rivera and the other members of his group would use caution in the conduct of their research. Simply having access to high-tech equipment to record volunteering subjects on the CSUSB campus raises some serious research questions. It might be interesting for you to know that all of the materials that we collected in putting our ”Recollections and Reflections…” (two boxes containing our original written materials, personal photographs, maps, newspaper clippings and other miscellaneous materials) were donated to CSU San Bernardino, Pfau Library Special Collections, on the completion of our third volume. Only recently did we find out that all of these materials were missing from the Pfau Library Special Collections. They are no where to be found!? A SAD day for us that spent so much time and effort in collecting these materials only to have them disappear. We wrote about South Colton because it was our home. Our publications were our way of thanking our families and the South Colton community for opening our eyes to the uniqueness of South Colton.

Respectfully, Joe Lucero, Rudy Oliva, Frank Sanchez, Rodolfo (Rudy) Serrano, Bobby Vasquez

Social media should not be used to destroy someone

Eleanor Roosevelt said: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; and small minds discuss people.” We’re a nation of small-minded people. The shame-based attitude of social media seeks to destroy a person, which is different than condemning behavior. There is no recovery from the former, no safe place to be accountable, apologize or ask for forgiveness. Another quote to consider is from John 8:7, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Lynn Wood, Long Beach

It’s the wrong solution

Public shaming should be a way for people to be knowledgeable of others’ wrongdoing. It should be used to raise awareness of a predicament. But more often than not, it is only used to embarrass others and bring negative attention to the situation. Many agree that public humiliation is a superb form of punishment, but a distressing experience won’t change their behavior. Certainly, retaliation seems satisfying, but it’s not the best way to solve a problem. Public shaming should only be used to bring justice to an event, not to ridicule someone. If that is the goal, public shaming turns more into a form of bullying. To put a permanent end to the situation, one should not make it worse by embarrassing the person but do something about it to make sure it does not occur again.

Alejandra Guzman, Montclair

Call out misbehavior

Too many people behave recklessly because they know they will get away with it. They know they’re anonymous. If you do something horrendously wrong, that behavior should be called to task. Shaming is sometimes the only effective consequence for certain situations. Example: If someone approaches you or you see someone doing something illegal or dangerous, take pictures, call the police and post the pictures so others are aware and can avoid that person or situation. If perpetrators understand pictures will be taken and the incident reported, hopefully that behavior can be curbed. Karen I.

Allard-Kinoshita, Rancho Cucamonga




Back-to-School: Tips for an easy transition

 By Yazmin Alvarez

It seems that every year children are heading back to school earlier.

Rialto Unified School District welcomed back thousands of students Aug. 5 while students at Colton-Joint Unified have been in session for more than a week. For students in the Redlands Unified School District, however, there’s a little more time to enjoy summer as the first day of school isn’t until Aug. 13.

So whether you’re trying to play catch up because the first day of school sprung up on you and your children or if you’ve been prepared for weeks with backpacks packed, here’s a few tips offered that will help you and your child ease back into the school swing of things.


It’s simple, create one. It’ll make everyone trying to get out of the house in the morning less stressed and stop them from rushing out like there’s a fire.

Creating a daily morning routine is possibly the most genius thing. Make sure backpacks, keys, glasses, phones are left in the same place so no one forgets on the way out. Set clothes out the night out before, especially shoes because somehow one always gets lost.


Get some. This goes back to routine. Have a bedtime so no one is a walking zombie in the morning.

Student/classroom supplies

Wait for it. Many teachers provide students with the necessary supplies so don’t panic and rush out to every single back-to-school sale and buy a dozens of bottles of glue, binders and pens. Who knows, your child’s teacher may only require you to purchase a spiral notebook for the morning’s writing block. If individual or even classroom supplies are necessary, teachers usually send out a list on the first day of school along with any other important notes.

Back-to-School Night

Go to it.

Here’s the chance to meet the teacher, principal and those that will be involved daily in your child’s life. Most importantly, back-to-school nights are the opportunity to find out what’s going on at the school and what important dates you and your child need to know.

Consider Sports

Sports can foster confidence, cooperation and healthy habits, and the start of the school year brings many opportunities to join various programs.

Hydration, nutrition and proper conditioning are important for any sport, especially those with intense training in warm weather. Schedule a sports physical with your pediatrician to discuss your child’s overall health and how to prevent injuries.

~Source: Rapid City Journal

Talk Safety

If your child will be walking to school, travel the route with him to assess its safety. Find out about traffic patterns and crossing guards. Teach your child safety rules like looking both ways. If possible, have your child commute with an older sibling or neighbor. If your child will be riding a bike or skateboard, be sure he wears a helmet. Review basic rules for safer riding. Bus riders should also be mindful of safety rules, like remaining in one’s seat and listening to the driver.


More back-to-school tips can be found at www.healthychildren.org.

~Source: Rapid City Journal

Yazmin Alvarez is a reporter with Inland Empire Community Newspapers and can be reached at iecn.yazmin@gmail.com.

An extremely disheartening and very disturbing day for America

I want to elaborate on my letter published June 16th 2015. It was entitled “an extremely disheartening and very disturbing day for America”. I was referring to the United States Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage. Although “popular” and “cool” nowadays, this is against Gods law that was established over 6,000 years ago. The LGBT community expects society to be so tolerant of their life styles, beliefs and points of view, yet are so intolerant of Christian’s life styles, beliefs and points of view. This state and country’s morals are rapidly deteriorating as stated in the letter so eloquently written by Oren Woods from Long Beach, ”Not the America He Knew” that was published on June 23rd 2015 by Colton Courier. If you haven’t read it, do so. It speaks volumes, at least to those of us who are over 40 years of age. It would actually be beneficial to those of any age. Then you have “Governor “Jerry Brown, the Governor who basically stifles California’s business by imposing tax after tax in the name of “environmental awareness”. This state pays for illegal immigrate college tuition, allow “sanctuary cities” that basically aid and abet illegal immigrants yet tax California businesses to the point of relocation or closure. The protesters that want minimum wage rose to $15.00 per hour for working in the fast food industries, news flash! I worked at Dairy Queen when I was a teenager making $2.35 an hour. I wasn’t thinking that this “was my life time career”, though I was extremely grateful for it, I knew it was merely a stepping stone to bigger and better things. These jobs weren’t created to be lifelong career position they are supposed to be a stepping stone to a career making more money and a stable life. This country is deteriorating… …period. There is no moral compass anymore. “Do as thou wilt” or “do as you want”. That’s the mindset of society now. As my dear deceased Father Edwin Leibelt told me over 40 years ago, “This worlds going to hell in a hand basket Son”. His words have never left me and have more meaning now than ever.

Gary B. LeibeltColton​

Wild, Wild West again?

Between 1969 and 2002, gun violence and misuse have affected me six times. My brother, grandson, my son’s friend, a nephew of my son-in-law, and two sons of a former co-worker — all dead, accidentally self-inflicted, suicide and murder. In addition, I had a loaded and cocked .357 Magnum pointed directly at my forehead, 12 inches away, with the holder about to squeeze the trigger. My concern for the misuse of guns far outweighs Rick Perry’s. Has he ever been directly affected? Or is this stupid idea purely political correctness? None of the 50 states, nor any U.S. possession, qualifies as frontier anymore. Perry’s idea that a Wild West shootout inside a theater would decrease deaths and injuries is preposterous. “Open carry” (or even concealed carry) has absolutely no place in a law-abiding society, whether in crowded theaters, open parks or on public streets. The need to carry firearms today is a fantasy of gun fanatics. For those who think an armed, undisciplined, untrained, unregulated “militia” will prevent crime or tyranny presaged by today’s politics, they are sadly mistaken. Criminals will use their guns, anyway. Despots cannot tolerate such possible resistance. Elect more of the wrong candidates and your fantasy will vanish. The next freedom you’ll lose is your firearms.

Walt Haddock, San Gabriel

Guns are for hunting

Why would you ask such a question? Have you ever lived in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico? Do you have knowledge what these gun-states allow? Why would someone need/want to take a gun into a theater? Guns are meant for hunting, sport shooting and self-defense. We taught our children from the time they were 3 years old how to carry a gun and the responsibility of using it. People who travel from over-crowded metropolis regions to the wide open spaces to reconnect with their inner Spartan need to “shoot something.” Every year, thousands of incompetent gun owners come to our states with their lofty ideas of “fitting in with the locals.” We of course are ready for them, laughing all the way to the bank, and hiring extra deputies and rangers to keep herd on these brainless, uneducated in gun-safety people. Have you ever had shooting experience? Anywhere? Try it; it leaves one exhilarated. If you accomplish your goal of hitting something, whether it is a moose, bear, doves, elk (delicious, by the way), or sporting clays or metal targets, pride is also felt. Should guns be allowed in theaters? Only if you want to experience being injured or killed by a person labeled as insane, thus excused for the catastrophe they cause on others. Go for it.

Karen McGuirk, Alta Loma

Kaufman visit a refreshing experience

By Anthony Victoria

I was given a reality check by motivational Ron Kaufman last week.

Noticing that I had my Canon camera in hand, Kaufman, who travelled to San Bernardino from Singapore for the second time to speak to city residents and employees, used me as an example to demonstrate the effectiveness of customer service.

My only task, Kaufman explained, was to take “the photograph”, meaning he wanted a image that illustrated a captivating message of what was taking place.

Let’s just say it was what people “expected.”

In describing his Six Levels of Customer Service on July 21, Kaufman described the third category (expected) as nothing special. In fact, it’s the average, the usual, or the norm.

“The customer might come back to you, but only if no better options exist,” Kaufman said to about a hundred people at the National Orange Show auditorium.

It made sense. I knew it wasn’t the best photograph because I didn’t have a good angle. I went as far as admitting so when I was asked by the New York Times bestselling author if it was my best shot.

But that was Kaufman’s point. The expected was for me to just stand there and “do the best” to get a decent photograph. The desired, surprising, and perhaps even the unbelievable thing would have been to try another angle or move around, in order to get that unique shot.

When it comes to our city, officials, community leaders, media representatives, employees, and even residents have all delivered the expected. Almost two years removed from the change of leadership, a majority of the city’s issues remain the same–with many of the same individuals leading the path towards progress.

Currently, city officials are having difficulty communicating effectively with one another, as was reported recently by Cassie MacDuff of the Press Enterprise. In turn, some residents have become disillusioned and frustrated at what they perceive as “bad leadership.” Other residents have taken initiative and formed coalitions, neighborhood groups, and social media pages in hopes of turning things around.

There is effective leadership present in our city. I don’t think people doubt that. However, can residents and leaders of different economic, ethnic, and political backgrounds come together for one united cause? Can these individuals look beyond the language, cultural, and social barriers to help revive a city that has lost its aura?

Kaufman remains optimistic.

“You’re not the first big organization to go through tough, difficult times,” Kaufman told the audience. “You might be the city people talk about as an example of how to recover and become great.”

“The architects of a new beginning,” Kaufman said about San Bernardino’s leadership.

The person who helped architect Kaufman’s workshop was Police officer Lt. Richard Lawhead. He went beyond what residents asked of him and sought out an expert who could provide some training to troubling professionals who were losing hope. Mind you, Lawhead is not a resident of the city. But his dedication and work ethic is embedded in San Bernardino. He simply felt that employees had been disappointed by the city’s struggles with bankruptcy, and he wanted to restore faith into these individuals. The officer’s diligence is a fine example of what can be accomplished.

Kaufman during that time spoke to employees about the categories of value: primary product; delivery system attitude, “the eye contact, the body language, the tone of voice, the friendliness”; and ongoing relationship.

For many, the biggest lesson that was learned that day was the core value of providing great service. Kauffman alluded that the purpose of a laborer, whether blue collar or white collar, is to provide a benefit to others.

“A lot of times people think that their job is about doing their job, when in fact the purpose of a job is to do something that creates some benefit and value for somebody else,” Kaufman told the Press Enterprise. “Sometimes you can lose sight of that.”

San Bernardino needs to remember these lessons as it moves forward. The expected isn’t good enough anymore. Let’s surprise everyone by doing the unexpected–the unbelievable. As architects of a new beginning, we need to be innovative and get out of our shells.

Bridge collapse could have been prevented

The collapse of the 10 Freeway in the desert of Southern California is a direct reflection of the GOPs commitment to push our nation into the 19th century. Time and again, infrastructure improvement bills have been presented to improve bridges, storm drain, roadways, and the list goes on and on. Each and every time, over the last six years, the GOP has stood defiantly to thwart progress for this ailing system. As early as this year, the GOP blocked legislation that would have funded thousands of projects. The GOP argued it would cost too much. They argued it requires new taxes. Not the case. These projects could be funded by closing tax loopholes and forcing “big business” to pay their fair share. Instead we now have a huge hole in a major transportation thoroughfare, and billions at stake in commercial dollars. In addition to this freeway break, consider the number of water pipelines breaking in the greater Los Angeles area (with millions of gallons of water being lost during a drought), the thousands of miles of storm drain pipeline that need improvement on the eve of a potential El Niño season. What happened to putting America first?

Carlos D. Bravo, Fontana

Before expanding, make current system reliable

Before the transit system is augmented, it needs to work. I have been a faithful commuter on the Blue Line from Wardlow to downtown Los Angeles for almost 15 years. Scarcely a week goes by without a major disruption in service caused by “mechanical difficulties.” It has recently deteriorated to the point that I am seriously considering reverting to commuting by automobile. Just this week, northbound service was delayed one morning for at least a half hour as the result of “mechanical difficulties”; and southbound service was delayed for at least as long on another evening for the same reason. It is little wonder that the system is unable to attract additional riders who have alternative means of transportation. It is simply unreliable. I am a transplanted New Yorker who was a habitual user of the subway, which was constructed at the turn of the last century. It continues to operate, at least in my experience, with fewer breakdowns than the Blue Line, which is only 25 years old. Another gripe is that the seats in certain cars were simply not designed for prolonged sitting, which becomes even more of an issue when the train is delayed. Management touts the expansion of the system and its coverage. Note that they do not tout its reliability. Frankly, at this point, I would not be in favor of a further tax increase to augment a system that doesn’t work as it should.

Chris O’Connell, Long Beach

Gov. Brown’s ambitious climate change goals

In a blind pursuit of his “sky is falling” legacy, Gov. Jerry Brown has assumed the role of the leader of environmental zealot movement by increasing the negative economic impact of Assembly Bill 32’s carbon tax. However, that wasn’t enough. The governor is now riding the moonbeam of Senate Bill 350, legislation that will impose more abuse of power by requiring half of the state’s electricity be generated from costly, unreliable renewable resources by 2030. Indeed, with Gov. Brown’s climate change goals, it doesn’t matter that there will be an enormous impact on the economy and cost of living. No, there’s more to SB 350, which requires a 50 percent cut in the consumption of gasoline to be administered by the governor’s appointed California Air Resources Board. Worse, there is nothing in SB 350 to prevent gasoline rationing. It’s bad enough that California already has the highest gasoline prices and gas tax ($1 per gallon over the national average). And that California will not allow the construction of new oil refineries, or adding new oil and natural gas resources. Or that California’s green additive blend of gasoline is not only costly, but damaging to vehicle engines. Now Brown’s hit team wants to stick oil companies with an oil extraction tax. Clearly, the sky’s the limit for Californians’ cost of living.

Daniel B. Jeffs, Apple Valley


A hungry girl’s guide to the 2015 OC Fair

I have this motto: Will travel for food.

For those that know me personally, know that I’m always hungry.

In fact, I’ve heard, “You’re the hungriest girl I’ve known.”

True story, really.

So what do I do to satisfy the urge to eat anything in sight?

Eat, of course.

Donuts with cereal as a topping in Los Angeles, I’m there. Mac n’ Cheese with Hot Cheetos on top — let’s go! Deep-fried cookie dough —hand it over!

I’ll travel far and wide for food cravings and gladly take fellow foodies with me.

So to share excitement over the possible gluttony that’s bound to take place over the next few weeks, I’m offering a little info on the damage I’ll cause at this year’s OC Fair.

It’s their 125th anniversary and how fitting of them to offer 23 days of eating with 125 Ways to Graze (round of applause).

Feeding bellies through August 16, there’s plenty of opportunities to at least hit 120 of those ways.

Yes, it’s a challenge.

Here’s a brief look into some of the new foods to chomp on… It’s a fried fest, so please, dress accordingly — stretchy pants with elastic, nothing tight or fitted and something preferably made of cotton and stain resistant. Oh and if you spill on yourself and it lands on your shirt, pants or smothers your fingertips, DO NOT let if go to waste.

Eat it.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you or offer tips.

Let the goodnees begin —

Deep-Fried Starbucks (yes, this is real and possibly from the heavens made up coffee inside a donut) from Bacon A-Fair; Deep Fried Slim Fast Bar (because I’m trying to watch my girlish figure) and Fried Peanut Butter Pickle Dog from Chicken Charlie’s; and Deep-Fried Birthday Cake (complete with with whipped cream and sprinkles) and Deep-Fried Pizza from Apple Fries.

New Unique Food Items:

Fireball Donut ( topped with bananas and whipped cream, and then caramel infused with Fireball whiskey) and Samoa Donut from Texas Donuts; Chocolate-Covered Pork Rinds and Wasabi Bacon Bombs (all hail bacon!) from Bacon A-Fair; $125 Caviar Twinkie from Chicken Charlie’s as if Twinkies aren’t fancy enough; Cuban Fusion Burger from Grant’s Tasti Burgers; and Frosted Flake Chicken Fingers from Pickle O’Pete’s.

On a budget?

$2 Taste of Fair Food, held every Friday from Noon-4 p.m., offers Fairgoers the chance to taste Fair food for $2 per item. Fun-sized samples include funnel cake, tri-tip, lemonade, cinnamon rolls, corn dogs, gelato, and more. Fair admission required.

My forte — eating contests.

One Big Party Eating Contests are held daily in the Explorium: Destination Kids tent at 6:30 p.m. Participation is free with Fair admission. My kind of party!!

The OC Fair runs through August 16 and offers entertainment, rides, food and plenty of vendors.

The Fair is open Wednesday-Sunday. Concert tickets, action sports reserved seats, single-day general admission and the popular Super Pass are available for purchase online at ocfair.com or from the on-site Box Office. Free parking and shuttle service are available on Saturdays and Sundays from the Experian parking structure

The OC Fair & Event Center is located off the 405 and 55 freeways at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. For more information, please visit ocfair.com

Changes are prompted by a reluctance to offend

Absolutely! While we used to be a nation of courage, we’re now a nation (the military excepted) fearful of offending anyone. We can’t say this, can’t do that, can’t display whatever because we might offend this group or that group. This is America, yet we’re too worried about offending other countries. We cater to various groups inappropriately. Political correctness has run amok.

Vic Christensen, Rancho Palos Verdes

Not the America he knew

I grew up during the 1950s in this wonderful country. Looking back, it was an idealistic time. We had fresh bread trucks that would deliver hot bread and rolls to your neighborhood, the Good Humor man with his delicious ice cream and friendly bell ringing, and home deliveries of milk and eggs. We were taught to respect our elders, the police and our politicians who governed America. My father worked hard and taught me that education and a good work ethic would be rewarded. Maybe it was simple naivete. Now, it seems cops are criminals and criminals are victims. People who don’t work are given welfare and a free ride. People want to make more money flipping hamburgers than soldiers who are risking their lives. Desecrating our flag is acceptable and being transgender makes you a hero. We supply guns to drug cartels and disarm our citizens. American has turned into big government and European-style socialism. And our president negotiates with terrorists. No, this is not the America I once knew. It has fundamentally changed and not for the better.

Oren Woods, Long Beach

Thank you, Pete Aguilar, for walking the walk

Since his election last year, Rep. Pete Aguilar has touted his humble roots, his connection to everyday Americans, and his desire to bring their voices to the halls of Congress (“Pete Aguilar: San Bernardino voices will be heard in D.C.”, Feb. 20). Recently, Congressman Aguilar took a big step toward making that happen. By co-sponsoring HR 20, the Government by the People Act, he has agreed with me and countless others that we need to fundamentally change the way campaigns are funded so that candidates are beholden to all of their constituents. If members of Congress want to connect with average Americans, their campaigns should be funded by them. Thank you, Congressman Aguilar, for becoming a leader on this important issue and for walking the walk, not just talking the talk.

Jessica Oden, Alta Loma

Too young to smoke, drink, but old enough to shoot

Regarding making 21 the legal age for purchasing cigarettes, my family is entirely non-smoking. However, government intrusion into what we can buy or not buy is becoming ridiculous. If a person can enter the military, go to war, carry a gun and kill people at age 18, vote, drive a killer car when home on leave from said military duty, why is that person not able to enter a hotel casino to bet in Las Vegas or enter any bar in Rancho Cucamonga if they are under 21? If the poor guy or girl wants to buy a package of cigarettes under a proposed law from our over-active California Legislature when home on leave, they will not be permitted until they are 21? They cannot drink alcohol until 21. They can carry a gun and have the awesome responsibility of killing people, yet cannot enter a bar and get a beer? Fortunately, the law has been shelved for this year but the do-gooders will be back into our lives trying to outlaw sugar at Starbucks. (Sugar, you know, is not good for you.) We should prohibit voting, entering the military, driving certain vehicles, obtaining some forms of credit, etc., until age 21. I am for 21. Let’s prohibit smoking, drinking, marijuana use, etc. Let’s make it illegal across the board; 21 legal age for everything. It is only fair.

Jacqueline Mahoney, Claremont



Ignorance or Apathy?

By Rocio Aguayo

After completing a full year at San Bernardino Valley College, I made some interesting observations. The college’s president, Gloria Fisher, hosts monthly forums in hope to inform and address students. After attending several forums, I have recognized a recurring theme of student and faculty concerns. First is ignorance. Information isn’t being shared in a timely or accurate manner, and students aren’t informed because they aren’t being reached. The second is apathy, or more specifically, the low number of student engagement we see on campus.

Conclusively, this sparked my interest in research regarding comparisons and contrasts between various decades of SBVC students. I browsed through compilations of SBVC newspaper archives stored in the newly constructed SBVC library (YEAR). In the November 19, 1989 edition of SBVC’s The Voice, one of the writers wrote about challenges students faced when hosting campus events.

The student stated, “Almost every event has had a disastrous attendance. This may be due in part to a lack of interest in the type of events planned and it may be due to an inadequate method of communication.” In spite of the various exciting changes that the school and newspaper have gone through, one thing is evident: 26 years later, ignorance and apathy still lingers throughout the SBVC campus.

It is no surprise that the college’s residing city, San Bernardino, faces these same issues. The city is unable to reach its full potential as the county seat. I find a root cause to be the lack of education in the city, which has created an apathetic community poisoned by ignorance. Even if a mastermind created a PowerPoint presentation with detailed steps and ultimate solutions to life’s greatest problems, our community would not answer the call because frankly, there is no call. No one at Valley is held accountable for reaching the student population. No one downtown is held accountable for informing the public.

The rapid growth of human accessibility to the Internet has led to more information about events and resources. You would think that there would be a larger turnout of people as a result, but that isn’t the case. Valley has consistently attempted to utilize the Internet by sending information to students via email. Despite this tool, a small percentage of the student population actually reads the updates and attends the events held by student leaders and administration.

In the Spring, during my campaign for Student Organizations Senator in the Associated Student Government, I began to understand that many students are uninformed of how to access their student email. I began to believe that the issue isn’t that students don’t care, but it was a matter of not knowing.

Furthermore, these issues aren’t going to just change with flyers and social media. People need to invest in community engagement. A type of engagement that has not yet been invented, or at least not made clear to us. No one has figured out how to efficiently reach the entire population with important accurate information.

We cannot continue to print out flyers and try to hand them out to everyone; it’s simply a waste of paper and an inefficient way to transmit a message. Email blasts have been known to work with a small base of contacts, but without an efficient team to manage this institution, it will surely become another failure. Everyone cares about something, so I believe there’s hope.

Remember God’s Prophetic Messages for which America’s Future Hangs?

Jesus through God said “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and prophesies. To me, this capsulizes much of what is expected of those who profess to be Christians. Some of the superfluous tangents we sometimes pursue are unbelievably unproductive. When the idolatries of such things as putting 1) money, 2) reputation and world renown, 3) selfishness and ease, 4) jealousy and envy, instead of taking responsibility for others (as we can) and for oneself and our actions; we are not following God and his first two commandments. And always remember, vengeance is only God and the Lord’s domain. Dignity and respect are words only, but they need to be followed by positive actions and words of all concerned. In my 76-1/2 years of living I have truly found it is more blessed to give and more rewarding than to receive. The carnal world of ego, vanity, false pride and foolishness, is far from the spiritual world. Righteousness (not self-righteousness) is the goal in dealings with others. Truth is the one thing that is a sure way to complete justice. If all of us could put others needs ahead of our own selfish and ulterior purposes, this world would be a better place to live in. I can’t help but think when God gave us his ten commandments through Moses, he was directing them to all earthly beings-not just a chosen few. Certainly Jesus talked in his Sermon on the Mount about “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, he was talking to the whole world. Far too many people in this world do not practice any of these sage teachings from the Almighty. Some secular-leaning ·human beings would say what I just said is just religious dogma. But to me it is just common sense before the harbinger comes true. For some it is hard to envision a God we cannot meet or see. Complete faith is hard at times; however, in my opinion, the secular world and the United States of America, in particular, could use some religious common sense.

John H. Peterson, Life-long Advocate of Racial and Cultural Harmony San Bernardino

A Disturbing Day In America

Friday, June 26th, 2015, an extremely disheartening and very disturbing day for America.

Gary B. Leibelt ​Colton

Why did Colton Council Refuse to go out for Bid?

As reported by the Colton Courier several residents spoke out in protest at the council’s refusal to go out for bid to find the best deal. It’s worth noting that council member David Toro, who motioned to accept the agreement at last Tuesday’s meeting, received a substantial contribution from Republic Services for his 2010 campaign (see below). Whether or not the Mayor and more recently elected council members received similar contributions from the waste hauler is a matter of speculation, as the DeLaRosa administration has seen fit to deprive the general public access to these critical documents by removing all campaign disclosure reports (‘460’s), from the cities website. I anticipate the Mayor denying the city ever posted 460s for the public. Luckily, however, the online internet archive provides proof that the city did in fact formerly provided these documents on it’s website: https://web.archive.org/web/20120825213802/http://www.ci.colton.ca.us/CCK_DR.html

Jocko Stern, Colton, CA


YMCA of East Valley: Safety first in and around water

Favorable days in the summer throughout the Inland Empire are few and far between. With summer in full swing and triple-digit temperatures up ahead, the YMCA of the East Valley encourages children and parents in the community to explore the many benefits of swimming, while also keeping safety top of mind.

In the Y’s swim programs, participants can enjoy water sports, enhance or learn new techniques, meet new friends and develop confidence, while also learning safety skills that can save lives.

“Water safety and swimming are important life skills in the growth and development of all children,” said Rachael Thall, YMCA of the East Valley aquatics director.

To encourage parents to take an active role in their child’s safety, the following are safety tips to practice when in and around the water:

• Only swim when and where there is a lifeguard on duty; never swim alone.

• Adults should constantly and actively watch their children.

• Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. • Parents or guardians of young children should be within an arm’s reach.

• Children and adults should not engage in breath holding activities.

“All children deserve access to water safety resources that not only could save their lives, but enrich them with an outlet for fun, healthy activity.” said Sarah Franklin, YMCA East Valley aquatics director.

In addition to learning lifesaving water safety skills, children can also increase their physical activity by swimming.

Swimming also motivates children to strive for self-improvement, teaches goal orientation, and cultivates a positive mental attitude and high self-esteem.

It also teaches life lessons of sport and sportsmanship, so that children can learn how to work well with teammates and coaches and how to deal with winning and losing.

As a leading nonprofit committed to youth development, the Y has been a leader in providing swim lessons and water safety for more than 100 years.

The Y continues to help youth and adults experience the joy and benefits of swimming, so they can be healthy, confident and secure in the water.

There are a variety of programs to choose, including swim lessons, swim teams and wet ball (water polo).

The upcoming end of summer “Family Camp” is one of the several opportunities to practice safe swimming as a family.

The retreat in the mountains is a fun filled weekend of swimming, archery, arts & crafts, campfires, and plenty more.

Cabin reservations are being accepted now with a $50 deposit. Space is limited and early registration is encouraged.

Family Camp runs September 4-7. Cost is $225 for a family of 4 (Full Facility Member) or $295 for a family of 4 (Program Member/Non-Member)

To lear more about the Family Camp, call 909-798-9622. To learn more about the YMCA of East Valley’s swim programs and lessons in Highland, Redlands and San Bernardino, visit www.ymcaeastvalley.org.

To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate in YMCA programming, financial assistance for some programs is available to those in need to help cover the costs.

Source: YMCA of East Valley


New cultural center good for the community

The amount of work that has been accomplished is truly amazing, but there is still more to do and any help will be appreciated. This leads me to request that members of the City Council check out this project that will eventually benefit this entire area. I am sure that more boarded-up buildings would be beautiful candidates for some group taking over the building and doing a renovation such as is taking place at the San Bernardino Cultural Center. Instead of demolishing some classic old buildings, it would behoove the city to push for more involvement by groups for the restoration and recycling of these proud buildings. When finished, the San Bernardino Cultural Center will be a fabulous, functional building offering theatre, music, arts and crafts, meeting rooms, and so much more.

Ed Wentz, Colton


We should rein in EPA and its water wasters

The California drought is serious and Gov. Jerry Brown has appropriately demanded great austerity on the part of California citizens. But is anything being done to bring in line the outrageous water waste mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency, the actions of which exacerbate the drought unbelievably? For the past half dozen years, the EPA, under the Endangered Species Act, has caused many hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water (700,000 in one year) to be diverted into the ocean. This has caused and continues to cause much of the Central Valley’s fertile farmland to dry up and turn into potential dust bowls or deserts. The purpose of all of this is to protect a two-inch fish known as a smelt, which continues to die despite this terrible waste of our most precious of natural resources. Such action also endangers other species on the endangered species list maintained by the EPA, but their bureaucrats overlook such damage and waste. This is just one of many outrages foisted upon us by EPA bureaucrats, and Congress has occasionally chided them, but done nothing. Surely Gov. Brown has some clout with a Democratic administration. And were is our congressional delegation? Our delegation is probably the strongest in Congress, with two veteran senators (Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer), House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, and probably the largest number of Democratic congressmen in Congress. Further, it’s a certainty that at least 90 percent of Republican congressmen would join the California Democrats in reining in the EPA and its water waste.

Edgar C. Keller, Redlands


Taking the waste out of wastewater

It is becoming increasingly clear that we must take the waste out of our wastewater and treat it as a resource that is recycled, or kept going around in a circle. Every wastewater or sewage treatment plant should immediately be renamed as a Water Resource Recovery Facility, and the treated effluent should be upgraded so that it can be recycled, either indirectly or directly, into our potable water supply. We have the technology, and know how to employ the necessary safeguards to make this safe for the public. It should not be the history of the commodity, only its quality that is important. This is the most reliable of all possible sources of supplemental water, unaffected by drought, immune from climate change, and it would grow with the population, even though we don’t need more people in California.

Ralph Wagner, Lake Arrowhead



LA Times fails to provide vital community perspective

It’s been about three weeks since the Los Angeles Times released their special on San Bernardino titled, “Broken City”. It’s safe to say that the story’s author Joe Mozingo will not be receiving a warm welcome from a large majority of the city’s residents next time he tries to get the inside scoop for a captivating front page special.

Which brings up a few pressing questions: Has the media been deliberately portraying San Bernardino in a negative way? Do reporters from outside the area and Inland region view the city as a “ghetto” that is beyond saveable? Are residents being fair in their criticism of Mozingo?

Journalism is a unique storytelling device because it provides people access to information—particulars that play a central role in establishing checks and balances among government and business, while also empowering residents to participate in social and political affairs.

Whether residents of the city like the content of the story or not, Mozingo did not fail in one particular respect. As a journalist he was able to entice people to begin a conversation about what needs to be done to improve San Bernardino. Why didn’t previous news stories from local outlets have the same impact? That’s because insiders—people who live or work in the city, and interact with residents on frequent basis, wrote these local stories.

In speaking to people of San Bernardino, many have expressed the same sentiment: “The Times doesn’t see what we see. They are outsiders who have no perspective.” Yet, quite frankly, the outside perspective is usually the viewpoint that provides the most substance. That is not to say that the work of our region’s reporters is not on par with the LA Times. I am alluding to the significance of an unskewed story that can ideally be provided by someone who may have no ties or no preference to the area.

However, while I respect Mozingo’s willingness to tell a wide and large scale audience about the realistic and saddening conditions some of our residents deal with (as a result of addiction and poverty), I am disappointed that he didn’t delve deeper into some of the efforts of community advocates and organizations. Hence, while I do not wholeheartedly agree with the opinions of a large portion of San Bernardino residents, I empathize with their frustrations because Mozingo’s story fails to pinpoint key individuals and entities that are working endlessly to improve the city and help people who are at-risk or involved in drug and criminal activities.

For example, there was no feedback from current Mayor Carey Davis or community leaders such as Tom Dolan or Margaret Hill. No insight from the Inland Congregations United for Change, the Time for Change Foundation, or the Community Action Partnership. These are organizations that have helped people get off the streets. Time for Change in particular–an organization that helps formerly incarcerated and drug afflicted women re-integrate into the community–has a 97-percent completion rate for their reintegration program. How can a story of this magnitude present a problem without offering a solution? That’s because its intention was to never present a solution.

Last September Mozingo contacted several members of San Bernardino Generation Now for an interview to discuss their contributions to the community. It never took place. After a few days of playing “tag” through e-mail, nothing came out of it. My guess is that their feedback would do nothing to excite the reader. Perhaps it was an executive decision to leave out the positive. The story’s main question was: “Could your city be the next San Bernardino?” Well, Mr. Mozingo, I suggest next time, before asking such a question that you invest more time learning more about the entirety of San Bernardino’s situation.

Congress should better support our seniors

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act, a federal law that constructed a framework for providing services to the nation’s growing senior population. This legislative milestone was a response to the realization there were not enough community services for seniors to age with dignity – 10,000 will be turning 65 each day for next 14 years. For this reason, it is an honor to carry Assembly Joint Resolution 8 which encourages Congress to uphold our country’s tradition of supporting our senior citizens. The OAA created the National Aging Network – including the Administration on Aging – a department of aging in each state and the Meals-on-Wheels program. Since its original enactment, national leaders have expanded upon the commitment to seniors through regular reauthorizations. I live in San Bernardino County and have witnessed closures of meal programs that are important to the nutritional needs of seniors. If you are a caregiver like me, you should be outraged that the National Family Caregiver Support Program has not been updated with modern funding levels since 2006. This is the only federal program of its kind and is designed to help middle-class caregivers with the rising costs of caring for their loved ones. AJR8 gives voice to older Californians and calls upon Congress to re-authorize the OAA with updated funding to accommodate the rapidly expanding senior population.

Cheryl R. Brown represents the 47th Assembly District.

Retire the debt’ event unethical

District Attorney Mike Hestrin, with a salary of almost $250,000, should have paid off the $79,000 campaign debt by now, which makes any further fundraising for that purpose totally unnecessary. At budget hearings, Hestrin was crying poor over his county district attorney’s office budget. Before the budget is signed, Hestrin’s fundraiser is already set and all five supervisors are co-hosting this event. These county supervisors do not find this unethical and that is at the crux of the problem. I find this to be an unethical tradition that we do not need to perpetuate. How can these five supervisors be impartial in the budget negotiations that impact every aspect of our lives? As the sheriff and DA employees are getting salary increases, other county services are evaporating. Cities are not able to keep up with these increases, and now these same supervisors are looking to already strapped cities to pay more for sheriff’s services. People need to pay attention because our quality of life is being diminished as special interests take over our government. The Riverside County civil grand jury, who are the watchdogs of our local government, are being stifled as they attempt to address these problems. According to Jeff Horseman, “In a sharply worded report, Riverside County’s civil grand jury has accused the county’s top lawyer of consistently interfering in its work, misleading county employees and having a chilling effect on employees’ sworn testimony.” I would hope that the goal for Riverside County supervisors is building character and building our communities for the economic health and welfare of everyone.

Britt Holmstrom, Mead Valley

Covered California out of touch

As a health insurance professional since 1997, I am still laughing over the ravings of Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, in “Covered California is healthy” [Opinion, June 19], juxtaposed with the business section front page headline: “The not-so-Affordable Care Act” [Business, June 19], by Emily Bazar. Did they speak with each other before submitting these two columns? I am one of those Californians that has to pay in full for my health coverage. I am hoping that everyone who still reads a newspaper has had the same reaction of disbelief. Peter Lee is not in touch with the real people who have to use the health care system in California. My per month premium in December 2013 was $280, with a $3,300 deductible. It was “corrected” to the ACA mandated coverage on January 1, 2014 to $560 per month with a $5,600 deductible. In 2015, I am paying $711 per month for a lousy policy with a small network. How “affordable” is that? Now, illegal immigrants in California will get much better coverage than I can afford, and they pay nothing? How long can our Covered California spokespeople lie with cherry-picked statistics?

Rita Sandor, Corona


How to respond to wildfires

Yazmin Alvarez

With persistent drought conditions, warm temperatures and the recent wildfire activities in San Bernardino County and across Southern California, the American Red Cross is urging all residents to take steps now to be ready to respond to wildfires.

As with any disaster, preparation can be the difference between life and death, Red Cross officials said in a news release.

The organization encourages residents to take the following steps:

Prepare Your Home

Regularly clean your roof and gutters to remove flammable debris. Make sure driveway entrances and your home’s address are clearly marked.

Post emergency phone numbers by every phone in your home. Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice, always back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.

Confine pets to one room so that you can find them if you need to evacuate quickly.

Make a Plan

Talk to everyone in your household about what to do if a wildfire occurs.

Select a place to meet outside your neighborhood in case you cannot get home or need to evacuate.

Plan and practice two routes out of your neighborhood in case the primary route is blocked.

To locate the nearest Red Cross emergency shelter, check your Red Cross Emergency App or visit redcross.org/shelter.

Build a Kit

Pack a first aid kit and a seven-day supply of essential medications, nonperishable foods, a manual can opener, bottled water, flashlights, a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, cell phone chargers, copies of important documents like your insurance policies, family and emergency contact information, maps of the area and other items for the whole family.

Identify household items that can be used as fire tools ( a rake, ax, shovel, bucket, chain or hand saw).

Be Informed

Make sure you and everyone in your family is familiar with local radio and TV news stations, and how to secure updated information.

Download the free Red Cross Apps

The new Red Cross Emergency App contains tips on how to assemble an emergency kit to use in the event of an evacuation, an “I’m Safe” button to let loved ones know you are okay, and a real-time map to help you find the location of the nearest Red Cross shelters.

The app also includes a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm.

The Emergency app can be downloaded by visiting redcross.org/apps or in Google Play or the Apple App store.

For more information on what to do before, during and after a wildfire, visit redcross.org/prepare/disaster/wildfire.

Source: American Red Cross

Yazmin Alvarez is a reporter with Inland Empire Community Newspapers and can be reached at iecn.yazmin@gmail.com.

CPUC residential rate plan will hurt SCE customers, conservation the most

In 2013, the state legislature passed an energy bill (AB 327 – Perea) that enabled the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to consider significant changes to how utilities charge customers for electricity. Since then, the California utilities, which include Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), have been pushing for changes that would raise rates on the majority of California households and cripple conservation efforts. There are currently two proposals in front of the CPUC. With President Picker at the helm, the Administrative Law Judges at the CPUC introduced a plan that nearly mirrors what the utilities have been asking for, ignoring environmental groups, consumer advocates, and public opposition. Meanwhile, Commissioner Florio introduced an alternate proposal that encourages conservation, ensures greater grid reliability, and supports a cost structure that pins electricity prices to the time the power is used! Picker’s regressive rate proposal will overhaul a system meant to protect low energy users and to encourage energy conservation and investments in clean energy. Under his proposal, about 94% of SCE households will pay more. Meanwhile 81% of that extra money will be enjoyed to fund bill cuts for the 3% of SCE households who use the most energy. Picker’s proposal would flatten the current four tiered rate structure to two tiers, dramatically reducing the incentive for high users, who will be paying less for energy, to conserve energy. It also would allow for a $10 fixed charge to be added on all bills, no matter how much electricity you use. Commissioner Florio has called it “rate design for the 1%” as it is typically high-income households that use the most energy! Commissioner Florio’s proposal will make the grid more reliable, keep costs fair, and encourage greater conservation. His proposal encourages customers to use energy during times when demand is low by charging customers less in the morning and evening, when electricity is cheaper to generate. It reduces the number of tiers from the current four to three, lowering bills for high users without drastically raising bills on low energy users or customers that have taken steps to conserve. Lastly, it completely rejects the regressive “fixed charge” calling it “contrary to the public interest.”

Marta Stoepker, Deputy Press Secretary, Sierra Club.

American citizen should be top priority

I have been reading about how emergency rooms are over-burdened, how Medi-Cal is falling short to pay for services and that the District Attorney’s office is facing layoffs. And now, this morning, I read that we, the California taxpayer, are going to pay $40 million in 2016 for the medical care of the children of illegal aliens. Then the following year, the American taxpayer will pay an additional $132 million. I was thinking that perhaps the illegal immigrants could be returned to their countries of origin for much less money. And then the money could be spent on services for the citizens of this country – like disabled homeless veterans, police and fire departments and the district attorney. I would bet the emergency rooms would not be nearly as crowded; nor would the DMV. Now, many say this would be heartless. But the American citizen should be the top priority of this country. If you came home and your house was filled with people you didn’t know, and you were told you have to clothe, feed, provide medical care, schooling and whatever they needed, some folks would feel a little different about the illegal immigrants. Because this is exactly what has happened to this country. They showed up and now must be supported by the American citizens.

Pete Harding, Riverside

Tax marijuana or waste money

When only 21 percent of the voting public comes out to make a decision in an election, it cannot be said that “the citizens of Riverside made it clear that they do not want medical marijuana.” About 60 percent voted “No” on Measure A, and that is only 12.6 percent of the population. The “war on drugs” has failed miserably, so let’s do the smart thing and tax it. We have all witnessed the lies told by public unions, police associations, etc., when unions participate in scare tactics against tax measures and other programs they don’t want. It was not any different this election. I saw advertisements stating that criminals would “run wild.” At this point in time, the choice is either to tax marijuana or throw more billions of dollars down the drain.

Tom Anderson, Banning


To Young Chicano/Latinos: Let’s embrace our culture!

By Anthony Victoria

The Chicano Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s invigorated a fervent passion in Mexican American youth across the southwest. Its philosophy called for self-determination and cultural identity–two elements that Chicano and Latino youth continue to struggle with today.

This past quarter at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), I had the privilege of working under political scientist Professor Dr. Armando Navarro to learn about the History of the Chicano Studies department–a section of our campus that no longer exists. Despite the absence of a strong, “cash strapped” Chicano/Latino academic branch, UCR has done a sufficient job in addressing the academic and personal needs of the Chicano/Latino student population.

In speaking to prominent Chicano faculty Professor Emeritus of History Dr. Carlos E. Cortes and to former student activists Jesse Valenzuela, Alfredo Figueroa, and Agustin Rios, I came to the realization that the success of the Chicano Student Programs (CSP) at the university is a result of the work of our predecessors; people that were willing to break away from conformity in order to provide future generations a safe space to learn about themselves.

Whereas it is evident that a shift has occurred in the priorities of student organizations such as el Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (M.E.Ch.A.), the vibrant Chicanismo that permeated Library South in those golden days continues to motivate a new generation to seek cultural identity and empowerment for their communities.

Cortes, 83, who was among the first to hold the title of department chair for the Chicano Studies Department (1972), was among the first in our area to question the common curriculum of U.S. education. His lecture during the first ever Mexican American organized conference at UCR in 1971, “Revisiting the ‘All-American Soul Course’: A Bicultural Avenue to Educational Reform”, explained that in that time period Ethnic Studies rarely received acclaim for its attempts of seeking intercultural understanding.

“In my talk I challenged those criticisms by arguing that U.S. education itself was an extended ‘soul course’ for fostering American identity,” Cortes said. “Except that in doing so it generally excluded those groups that did not fit neatly into the calcified ways of recalling and teaching U.S. history, literature, and other subject areas.” The youth of that generation, not far removed from the New-Left youth movement, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Farm Workers Movement, embraced these exogenous factors in order to seek their own rights. Like Today, many of these students hailed from places like Indio, Thermal, and San Bernardino–where opportunities and resources are scarce for many residents.

However, the huge difference from the days of “El Movimiento” and are present period is that fragmentation and apathy seem to be commonplace in Chicano/Latino communities. This is the result of our failure to identify with our ethnicity and culture–the negligence of our people’s historical value.

“We always made sure to speak on the Chicano Manifesto and El Plan de Santa Barbara to ensure students knew of the reason why were here,” said former Mechista Jesse Valenzuela. “You always have to know about the past in order to learn about the future. They always have to realize that Chicano Studies wasn’t always here.”

In the present, it is almost a surprise to know someone who is fully versed in the rhetoric of El Plan de Espiritual de Aztlán or El Plan de Santa Barbara. My fear is that these documents will be non-existent to the upcoming generation that follows ours.

While I applaud the efforts of great mentors and leaders on our campus such as Professor Navarro, Professor Emeritus Cortes, and CSP director Estella Acuna, much more needs to be done if we want Chicano Studies, Latin American Studies, or for that matter, Ethnic Studies to continue to be offered at universities across the nation.

Our predecessors fought valiantly against roadblocks to make sure we would one day be able to learn about our people’s heroes. And that’s because they see themselves in us. At one point in their life they were young working, middle class students, looking for a better path and for a solution to the struggles our barrios face. It is imperative that we continue to push for the retention of this valuable academic discipline because it will ensure our people will be educated about their culture.

Residents could help dig San Bernardino out of debt

I spoke at the San Bernardino City Council meeting and told my “thinking out of the box” idea to help add income to the city to pay the debt we owe. The idea is that we ask all who pay bills in the city to “round up” their payment and that amount be placed in a trust fund toward paying back our debt. The 10-year budget plan prepared May 30 for the judge showed that it could not pay back the money owed. All the residents in the city of San Bernardino owe this debt. I am a resident and I owe this debt. Eventually, the county could place a levy on property to pay this debt, increasing my house tax and yours. Even though there are ongoing mediations with the creditors and others to reduce it, the debt is large enough that all efforts now in the document are not enough over the next 10 years. If many residents and businesses round up their payment, this would show how much they believe in San Bernardino’s future. In many meetings, blogs and at volunteer activities, city residents have expressed positive feelings for living in San Bernardino. At random, I asked the young man working in the window in my local fast food store when he returned my change, would he be willing to “round out” his payment. He listened, smiled and said “yes.” There are many successful examples of this in our nation, such as Jane Robert’s 34 million friends raised money for United Nations programs, $1 at a time. With over 200,000 residents and others who daily come to our city, these small amounts add up quickly and surprise even the most skeptical persons. Most important, this positive action that we demonstrate will encourage the return of lost neighbors, new services and retail business, create a “neighborhood-friendly” milieu that contributes to reducing negativity. This could be the measurement of the success of this idea.

Shirley Harlan, San Bernardino

Delightful concert at First Congregational church

My husband and I attended a delightful concert last Sunday at the First Congregational Church in San Bernardino. The performers were members of the San Bernardino Youth Choir, assisted by Soar Academy’s chorus, and the Symphony Jeunesse, the Youth Orchestra for Strings. We are extremely lucky to have Michele and Michael Tacchia there, dedicating their lives to bringing music to the youth of our community and to us. Bravo to their organizations and to them. If you read about an upcoming concert, we strongly recommend you attend. The sounds were beautiful!

Gertrude Freidel, San Bernardino

Global warming scare political, not scientific

At any time, I expect the left-wingers to start blaming the floods and unseasonable rains that swamped large areas of Texas on man-made climate change and global warming. The term global warming is not bandied about as often as it used to be. I believe the reason for its unpopularity is that the non-believers did some research and discovered that 93 percent of the scientists who are advocates of the hoax “climate change” are being subsidized by the federal government, which rewards those scientists who come to the government’s preferred conclusion that climate change is man-made and causes global warming. Liberals hate capitalism. What better way to destroy capitalism than to have these bought scientists convince the gullible that man is destroying the planet, thereby causing the Environmental Protection Agency to issue more stringent draconian rules which cripple capitalism. Look at how many coal mines the empty suit in the White House has closed. Look at how many oil drilling permits for off the Florida coast have not been renewed. The EPA is the enemy of hard-working American citizens. I wish we had a Congress with the cashews to close down the EPA, the Department of the Interior and the Education Department. Their responsibilities should be returned to the states.

James F. Nesmith, Upland

Summer brings fun for families, camps for kids

By Yazmin Alvarez

School’s out!

For kids and teens this means no more waking up early for class and the dreaded piles of homework. For parents, summertime translates to the kids sleeping in until noon, chores piling up and summer brain drain.

Fear no more.

Plenty of activities are abound in the Inland-area to keep families busy and children of all ages both mentally and physically active.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Redlands-Riverside offers a few options to keep kids going this summer.

The Club is fighting the “summer slide” with Summer Brain Gain, an interactive learning program.

Along with Summer Brain Gain, the Club is offering summer day camp June 15-Aug. 6; Camp Einstein, a math and science overnight camp, July 23-26 for boys and July 30-Aug. 2 for girls. A $20 yearly membership fee must be paid to participate in the camps.

Day camp is for ages 5 to 14, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Hansberger Clubhouse in Redlands, the Club’s Waterman Gardens public housing site in San Bernardino and the Casitas del Valle public housing site in Moreno Valley. Cost is $100 per week per child. Scholarships and early-bird discounts are available. Day campers can go on field trips and participate in special activities. Trip destinations include the Burrage Mansion, Riley’s Farm in Oak Glen, Yucaipa Regional Park, the Riverside Art Museum and Splash Kingdom Waterpark. At the mansion, campers can do the ropes course, ride bikes and learn to cook. Special activities at the clubhouse include LEGO robotics and a PGA golf program.

Camp Einstein focuses on STEM, science, technology, engineering and math. The camp is held at the Burrage Mansion in Redlands and is open to children ages 7 to 14. Cost is $150 per child.

Camp registration forms are posted at www.BeGreatIE.org, and are available at the Hansberger Clubhouse, 1251 Clay St., Redlands. For more information on the camps, call (888) 822-6535.

Looking to keep the family busy and enjoy summertime fun together?

Head over to Knott’s Berry Farm for a complete summer line up of entertainment.

For the little ones, try out Charlie Brown’s Happy Campers – Camp Snoopy Theatre: Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, their friend JT, and that dancing beagle, Snoopy will take the stage in a show that’s sure to make an outdoorsman out of anybody! Shows run daily June 14 – September 1.

Looking to earn cool points? The Amusement Park is debuting a handful of new shows including:

Blockbuster Beagle!…on ice at the Charles M. Schulz Theatre – Snoopy and his Peanuts buddies “go Hollywood” in a brand new ice show adventure. Shows run daily (except on Wednesdays) throughout the summer through August 23.

Vertical Impact at Calico Square Stage- Extreme stunts with high flying acrobats -enough said. The high energy show combines trampoline stunts, BMX riders, skaters, dancers, and aerialists. Every show ends with an informal meet & greet for guests with the entire cast on stage. Shows run through August 23; no shows on Mondays & Tuesdays.

Vertical Impact: Geared Up! at Calico Square Stage- Daytime extreme sports not enough? The fun continues after dark with the latest hits, biggest tricks and special electrified effects. “DJ Nytemadness” keeps the party going mixing the current EDM (electronic dance music), dance & pop hits after each show and guests can be part of the fun! Shows run through August 23; no shows on Mondays & Tuesdays.


Young athletes shouldn’t put up with cheating

I’m from the baby-boom generation, with a different mindset on how sports influences our lives. For example, approximately seven years ago, a young, upcoming pitching prospect lived next door to me in San Pedro. At the time, he was in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system. He now pitches for the Oakland A’s on their active roster. He since has moved out of San Pedro, as I have also. One day, I had a conversation with him on his feelings about high-profile major league ballplayers using steroids. He said “I don’t have a problem with it.” I said, “Really?” I then explained my point of view to him — that he was trying to make a professional living for himself by pitching in the major leagues and that his chances could be taken away if there was a hitter on steroids, slamming all of his best pitches. He still answered with his original answer. I would never stand for a situation where someone was cheating and the result became the loss of my future. Although he made it to the major league, the mindset of the younger generation seems to be just turning the other cheek. The future lessons taught from sports are being built on a very weak foundation. Our future generations will think nothing about cheaters, which will lead to the demise of respect and integrity in sports.

Lou Solo, Gardena

Old virtues have been lost

Athletes used to hone their craft through discipline, sportsmanship, professionalism and respect. It has now become more convoluted, with money, fame, sex, drugs, scandals, domestic violence and criminal activities. Society has grown tolerant of these evils, while the media glamorizes and feeds the frenzy. Our children become more exposed to these problems and forget the reasons why they signed up for a sport activity in the first place. Parents become so addicted and obsessed with sports that they negatively impact their children’s perception and attitude towards sports. If there are lessons to be found in sports today, we should ask the now infamous and controversial athletes what drove them in and out of it.

Cielo Guzman, Baldwin Park

Streamlining government will make it more efficient

Gov. Jerry Brown and at least one lawmaker in Sacramento want to provide “amnesty” for poor people who have huge traffic ticket fines. They feel (as does the American Civil Liberties Union) that the poor are being singled out for economic punishment not fitting the crime. Their answer is to either provide an 18-month amnesty or drastically reduced penalties for these tickets for the poor. I feel that these escalating fines are a punishment for all people, not just the poor. My solution is to enact a permanent law that puts a reasonable cap on these fines at all levels of government. These fines are just another sign of a system of government that wants more and more money to feed itself and its ever-expanding bureaucracy. The real solution to their greed is to reduce the size of government. As a bureaucracy grows, it becomes more inefficient. Streamlining government by reducing its size will make it more efficient, and demanding that all civil servants be accountable for their actions or inactions will help all economic levels, businesses and quality of life. “That government governs best that governs least” is more applicable than ever.

Hayden Lening, Claremont

Why not split Iraq into several regions?

Elizabeth Kerr’s letter on Iraq was right on track! As she noted, many Sunni and Shiite Muslims have hated each other for almost 1,500 years. However, many of us in the West should not be smug. Why were religious Christians fighting each other in Northern Ireland? While most of the population doesn’t think about the Sunni-Shite split, our government leaders should have understood this and not led us into the second Iraq war. All is not bad news: We did not invade Syria nor support the “elected” Muslim Brotherhood of Eqypt. The lesser evil solution: In the past, India split into Pakistan and later, Bangladesh. For better or worse, Israel was carved out of the Middle East. We should now support a Kurdistan, Sunnistan and a Shiitestan out of the mess that is now Iraq. It’s likely these new independent nations, in their self-interest, would then unite in the fight against ISIS.

Dan Johnson, Redlands

Getting drunk is NOT cool

By Anthony Victoria

A study done by the County of San Bernardino in 2012 demonstrated that 22-percent of adolescents in the region said they believed occasionally getting drunk was alright, as long as it did not interfere with work, school, or other day-to-day responsibilities. But why should researchers even pose such a question to teenagers and young adults? I will tell you: because we are seeing more and more teenagers drinking, as well as using other substances around school campuses, neighborhood parks, and vulnerable locations (such as alleys, hideouts, etc.). This is demonstrated in staggering statistics that can be found on numerous abuse center organization websites.

According to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, seven percent of new female drinkers were under the age of 14. Today, some three year later, the figure is at 31 percent. The World Health Organization’s Program on Substance Abuse points out that 10 to 30 million children worldwide are orphaned and must support themselves by working, begging, stealing, selling sex and trafficking illicit substances. Estimates say that up to 90 percent of these street children use substances of one kind or another. According to a survey conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse one in four American teens said they had a friend or classmate who had used Ecstasy, while 17 percent said they knew more than one user.

The figures don’t lie. Our community continues to lose young people to the chains of the local prison system and to early graves due to the effects of substance abuse. Of the 30.7-percent of teenagers who admitted to drinking or using other drugs, how many have been incarcerated, received treatment, or are now lying six-feet deep in the ground?

In late 2012 a friend of mine lost her life as she was driving on the freeway after colliding with another vehicle. Her decision to drink and drive and get behind the wheel resulted in her tragic death at the tender age of 20. She left behind friends, family, and a little boy.

At the beginning of that same year, I was with a friend, getting intoxicated at a nearby park. I didn’t realize I may have been at the cusp of losing my education and my job–the things I value in life. After being told by a police officer to step out of the vehicle and being frisked, we were told to sit down. The officer then said…

“You should be ashamed to be hanging out with this loser, this nobody,” the officer said to my friend, noticing she had a child seat in the back of her car. As mad and frustrated as I was because he said that, and despite me screaming “you don’t know who I am or what I do,”

I realize, that at least I was not helping out the situation by consuming alcohol with her. And yet, many young ones also find themselves with others who enable instead of help.

That is why it is essential that groups such as the Colton, Rialto, and Bloomington Community Coalitions for Change and the Mental Health Systems (MHS) nonprofit organization are contributing to curbing drug and alcohol usage among teenagers and young adults. Since 2010, the Coalition for CHANGE has partnered with residents, community organizers, city officials, and law enforcement to address the issues of alcohol and drug use.

Leaders like MHS’ Mirza Martinez-Andrade have witnessed tragedy and have grown frustrated of seeing young people lose their lives. The Under-21 Think-O-No-Drink-O campaign and MHS’ push to convince the Colton City Council to pass the social host ordinance have provided essential steps that have seen a change in culture in recent months.

“It was very difficult at first because people didn’t understand the ordinance,” Martinez expressed. “The activities and resources we offer have helped attract more interest. People didn’t want to get near us and now we have lines of residents waiting to participate.”

As a journalist, I am proud to cover the work of organizations that are continuously fighting for helping better the lives of our residents and young ones. I like to believe I have bounced back resoundingly from that experience in 2012. Now, I can say ‘getting drunk’ is not cool. My job allows me to shed light on these issues–also in the hope of helping of save lives.

Gearing up for Great Race in San Bernardino

With San Bernardino being one of the Great Race stops along their long route from St. Louis area, the city has really stepped up to the plate to make this stop the best along the Great Race route. This is such a huge event to kick start our city on the road to recovery and show residents San Bernardino is back. We hope every person who lives here shows up to support this family event. We have had many local volunteers willing to help, as well as donations from the Elks Lodge, Crest Chevy, R81 Print, Crown Printing, Cooly’s Hardware, Molly’s Cafe, San Bernardino Golf Club, IWC Motorsports and Arrow Auto Air. With all the blocks closed off downtown, there will also be 1,000 vehicles, a free car and motorcycle show for 1980 and older American cars and motorcycles, a huge veterans parade with restored military vehicles, professional chili cook-off, bands, two radio stations broadcasting from the event, 15 gourmet food trucks, stage coach rides, beer garden, speciality drag racing, NASCAR, choppers, movie and TV cars on display and restored fire trucks. At least three major Hot Rod magazines will be there to cover the event, and every TV news channel has been invited as well. Also, there will be a special show put on by “Wild Thang,” 120 Great Race cars arriving at 5 p.m., and more. The event opens for the cars to come in at 10 a.m., cruising starts at 11 a.m., and the veterans’ parade is at 3 p.m. Help support our city and be a part of this first-class event on June 27.

Steve Portias, San Bernardino

Congratulations to SB County Supervisor Ramos

I’d like to offer my congratulations to San Bernardino County Supervisor James Ramos who was recently recognized with the Sue Matheson Award for his work supporting and empowering young people in San Bernardino County. The award was presented in Sacramento by the California Coalition for Youth. Supervisor Ramos is well known for his commitment and leadership on issues related to helping youth maximize their potential — especially among the Native American communities, foster kids and those at risk of homelessness. Aside from supporting youth involvement and youth and family empowerment, he is a coalition-builder, advocate and mentor. Every youth deserves a chance at improving their own lives, and Supervisor Ramos’ work helps ensure the youth in his community have a chance to do so.

Matt Cate, Executive Director for the California Stat Association of Counties

California taxes among the highest in nation

California’s sales and personal income taxes are rated the highest in the nation by the Tax Foundation. Our gas tax is second highest, and corporate taxes are the highest in the West. Even with Proposition 13, California property taxes are not low, ranking 19th highest in the nation. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association’s “Follow the Money” report documented billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse in California state government, including $194 million in uncollected bills at the state Department of Toxic Substances Control; $848 million in overpayments by the CalWORKs program; and $80 million in illegal money transfers. Why raise taxes if government cannot spend responsibly the money it already receives?

Jeff Dyer, Pinon Hills

United States should not have ended the draft

The biggest mistake was ending the draft and going to an all-volunteer military. I served in the Army from 1962-1965, along with a lot of draftees who came from families of all economic and social backgrounds. Many will recall the anti-Vietnam War sentiment that prevailed. But when families — many of them affluent— began losing more and more family members, politicians finally began ending the war. If nothing else, the draft kept Americans more focused on reigning in the War Hawks (most of whom never had family members in the Armed Forces). The draft was replaced with the cliche “Thank you for your service.” In other words: “I’m glad you are fighting our wars and my family is not.” The American public lost its focus, and the War Hawks are getting us into stupid wars again.

Mark Bixler, Redondo Beach



Colleges Must Do More to Meet Low-Income Students’ Needs

Guest Commentary By Tim Hall

Paying for college may soon become easier — especially for low-income students. President Obama just issued a Student Aid Bill of Rights that orders the federal government to find ways to help students repay their loans. The presidential directive will also hold those that service federal loans to higher standards.

The Bill of Rights is the latest in the president’s campaign to make college more affordable. But the obstacles low-income students face as they pursue college are not just financial. They also face steeper social, emotional, and administrative hurdles than their peers.

Colleges and universities themselves must do more to help young, disadvantaged Americans overcome those hurdles — and thereby secure the full benefits of higher education

A college degree has never been more valuable — particularly for students of modest means. When those born into the lowest economic quintile obtain a degree, they triple their chances of ascending to the top two quintiles.

Unfortunately, institutes of higher learning aren’t reaching folks at the bottom of the income ladder. Only 50 percent of kids from low-income families enroll in college. Even fewer graduate. Just one in four college freshmen from the lower half of the income distribution earns a bachelor’s degree by age 24.

Minorities face a similar graduation gap. Just 40 percent of blacks and 51 percent of Hispanics earn their degree within 6 years — compared to 62 percent of whites.

The cost of college is one reason why. But there’s more to the story than that. Low-income, minority, and first-generation college students — as well as their families — often lack the information and guidance needed to thrive in college.

That’s something that colleges and universities can address.

At Mercy College, the school I lead outside New York City, we’ve implemented an aggressive counseling program called PACT to serve the 74 percent of our freshmen who come from low-income families. PACT also caters to our African-American and Latino populations — each of whom comprises one-third of our student body.

The program pairs students with mentors who assist them with the academic, financial, and emotional challenges college poses. Students have grown to depend on these peer counselors to help them deal with everything from stress over final exams to trouble communicating with their families. Mentors also have access to real-time data on their students’ academic performance. So they can intervene if their mentees are struggling.

Although the program is new, it has delivered impressive results. Participants persist toward their degrees at a rate 14 percent higher than non-participants. The five-year graduation rate is up 20 percent — a significant improvement by the standards of higher education.

Other universities have adopted similar programs. The University of Texas recently started “U.T. Mindset” to bolster the confidence of incoming freshmen from historically underrepresented groups. After participating in the program, many black, Latino, and first-generation students reported that they had overcome feelings that they “didn’t belong” or “weren’t smart enough.”

Among U.T. Mindset’s alums, 86 percent completed at least 12 credits after their first semester. That’s an impressive 5 percent bump in achievement relative to previous years.

These programs are cutting costs for students and institutions alike. They reduce the need for remediation and push students toward graduation. That’s crucial, because the longer it takes for them to graduate, the more likely that life intervenes and throws them off track.

Mentoring programs like those at Mercy and Texas won’t eliminate all the challenges that confront low-income and minority students. But they’re making an impact — and can help colleges and universities fulfill their duty to educate America’s best and brightest, advantaged and disadvantaged alike.

Tim Hall is President of Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York.

Car-loving states won’t embrace light rail

SanBAG needs to be restrained from proposing any more white elephants in San Bernardino County. Sustainable development may sound good, but it is certainly not sustainable for the taxpayers of our area. sbX in San Bernardino was a novel experiment, but with its very low ridership and $188 million cost, it does not seem logical to expand the concept to cities such as Fontana and Ontario. People want the flexibility to travel from Point A to Point B at any time they want. That is why people drive cars, and that is why California is an automobile-centric state. We do not want the Redlands Passenger Rail project or sbX expanded; there are alternative ways to do those projects without spending money of future generations. We need to stop the sustainable development money from the source in Washington, D.C.

Matthew Munson, Ontario

Anti-semitic activity creates tension on campus

Dianne Klein, media relations director for University of California’s central office, is quoted as saying, “There’s been no huge influx of students from countries where anti-Semitism is official policy.” Her reference to “official policy” is curious, and we would do well to examine it closely. According to Thomas Elias, “Between 2001 and 2013, the number of UC graduate students from Iran — where a mantra in public schools reportedly has students daily reciting “Death to America, Death to Israel!” — rose from six to 113.” Focusing on whether or not a specific expression is “official policy” of a country or a campus deflects away from consideration of whether there could be “misinterpretation” of a country or a university’s viewpoint. Perhaps chants of “Death to America, Death to Israel” are aspirational rather than official policy of another country, but some of the students who study at the UC campuses might not see things that way. The goal of such words, whether or not they are official policy of the country of origin of our student-guests, is to create ugliness on our campuses, such as the frightening “upsurge of anti-Semitism on campuses like Berkeley, Davis, UCLA and Riverside,” as noted by Elias.

Julia Lutch, Davis

Researching lack of water in San Bernardino

If you want to do some investigative reporting on our lack of water here in San Bernardino, you might consider getting in touch with Susan Longville, a board member of the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District in Highland. She can tell you how many millions of gallons of our underground water we have sold to other cities which has left us here in San Bernardino high and dry and doing water-rationing. I remember when we had so much underground water that it was bubbling up under the buildings downtown. I consider this whole action a huge sell-out of our resources to line someone’s’ pockets. Who got the money from all that water? Certainly not bankrupt San Bernardino.

Martha Young, San Bernardino

An eye for an eye: Death penalty is justified

Now that the Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death, surely a regenerated debate over capital punishment will occur. Many Americans still believe that it isn’t right for a civilized society to put someone to death as an appropriate punishment for the heinous crime of murder. And they continue to be so wrong. Simply put, in a world where human life should be held in the highest esteem, those individuals who disagree with that fact and are then proven to have killed, should immediately lose their right to be a part of this civilized society.

Richard Eaton, Rancho Cucamonga

My respects to enlisted men and women

By Anthony Victoria

What do the men and women of the armed forces experience when on leave and on patrol thousands of miles away from home? As civilians, we may truly never know. Whereas the media today depicts the war from multiple angles (both positive and negative), unless we are entrenched along with our service men and women, we should not be quick to condemn their actions or experiences.

I am guilty of criticizing and denouncing the U.S. military because of the current situation that is taking place in the Middle East. While I still believe that our nation’s involvement in international affairs has been skewed by private and corporate interests, and while I believe that these individuals’ hopes and dreams are being manipulated by those interests, it does not take away from the great sacrifices these individuals make. They leave their families behind, offer their livelihood, and shed blood and tears for a fervent nationalism that provides them hope for a better future. Whether they receive that hope is another question to answer in another editorial.

To quote what San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzales said to a crowd of veterans during the Norton Air Force Base Museum’s Second Anniversary Celebration on March 21, “War is not good, war is destructive. But when there is cause to protect freedom and respect values, our nation has known how to step up, how to fight, how to preserve, and how to protect.”

Irrespective of the injustices of Abu-Ghraib, My-Lai, the Dachau Massacre, and the “taking no prisoners” attitudes of soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa, U.S. military veterans and current service men and women deserve the respect of civilians. We may not like the business of war, we may not understand why it takes place, but we must understand and empathize the courage and sacrifice these individuals have exerted and continue to strive for.

We can learn about past, historical experiences encountered by veterans to understand the reasons why they chose to enter the military and the emotional and psychological toll it brings.

For example, Mexican-American men in the wake of Pearl Harbor enlisted in high numbers because they wanted to prove their willingness to defend the U.S., and ultimately, wanted a sense of belonging in a society that condemned them as second-class citizens.

“I remember traveling to Little Rock for basic training. We made a stop in Texas to grab something to eat,” World War II veteran and Colton resident Gilbert Zamorano said. “I remember seeing a sign that said, ‘No Dogs or Mexicans Allowed’. I began to cry. I couldn’t understand why these people were so mean.”

Zamorano would go on to serve under General George S. Patton’s Third Army Division in France. After being discharged in 1946, he returned to Colton where he still faced discrimination from Anglo-Americans and struggled through economic and emotional hardship for several years. In addition, combat stress led him to become an alcoholic.

“Even if you returned in uniform they didn’t like you,” he said. “I hated it.”

Nevertheless, Zamorano went on to have a small family and became employed by both the Norton Air Force Base and March Air Force base for over 30 years. His heart remained in the armed forces.

Today, reasons why young men and women join the armed forces vary. Some join due to heartfelt patriotism, economic pressure, the desire to escape a dead-end situation, or for the promise of citizenship.

And while there remains a tradition of embracing militarism and patriotism in our country, one thing that I believe should be addressed is not how these young men and women can serve us, but how we can serve them.

If alcohol, cigarettes are legal, pot should be too

I support legalizing marijuana. The people that want to smoke it are going to whether it’s legal or not, and our jails are full of people with nothing more than pot charges. A society that allows alcohol to be legally served in restaurants, bars, sports events, concerts, etc., and outlaws marijuana even in your home or backyard is ludicrous. The side effects from alcohol we know too well: drunk drivers, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, lost time at work, permanent brain damage (wet brain) and the heartbreak when a family member dies of alcoholism. Marijuana does not share in any of these crimes or tragedies, as you can’t overdose, you are far more likely to eat and sleep, and if you do stay awake, you’re relaxed. It will be legal eventually, but as usual our society will take a long time to allow it due to the stigma attached to it. The pharmaceutical companies don’t want it legalized because patients might not need their drugs. They might not have a chance to overdose on prescription drugs if pot is legal. And yet we still allow cigarette smoking, too.

Victoria Hallard, Banning

Blame poverty on lack of respect for community

Our government and non-government, anti-poverty groups continue to insist that more and more public funds be poured into schools and jobs programs in poor communities. They insist that the only way out of poverty is through the unlimited distribution of public and private funds handled by an ever-growing legion of civil service experts. The promise of a free college education for every poor child will lead to communities blessed with unlimited job prospects, low crime rates, honest local governments and schools staffed with dedicated and caring teachers. Welcome to Los Angeles in 1965 and 1992 and countless other communities since. Poverty exists in minority and non-minority communities but most poor communities have one common element: The lack of two-parent families. The lack of fathers willing to take responsibility for raising their children leads to a loss of respect for familial authority and ultimately a loss of respect for all authority. Teachers are no longer heroes. The police are viewed as enemies. Crime is a legitimate business. Generations that succeeding governments have bestowed with unprecedented and unappreciated, cradle-to-grave entitlements have swelled our prison systems and perpetuated poverty. Until our elected officials and those who profess to speak for poor and minority communities demand respect for police officers, teachers, and the rule of law, along with responsible parenting, we will continue to experience the disintegration of minority communities, increasing crime and poverty rates, and more dangerous and destructive incidents of rioting. Gary Cash, Yucaipa

Voter beware: Changing Prop. 13 bad for taxpayer

Californians beware. The yearly assault on Proposition 13 has begun. New “tax reform” bills are being drafted on oil and property tax to increase taxes dramatically at the expense of the public and private sector. The proposed property tax will “only affect business,” but force even more of the businesses in this state to go elsewhere. It is called split roll and would reassess commercial properties every year. With the taxes going up, the increase would be passed along to business tenants and make the tenants’ prices go up as they would have to pass this expense along to consumers. Our Legislature continues to ignore the ripple effect of more taxes and continues to look for more revenue, rather than cutting unnecessary expenses and finding ways to promote business and consumer spending through lower taxes and less regulations that restrict growth and add to their expenses. This philosophy of less government, lower tax rates and commensurate increase in tax revenue worked well in the 1980s and ‘90s, so why not adopt that practice again?

Hayden Lening, Claremont



Summer thrills launch at SoCal theme parks

By Yazmin Alvarez

If you ever wanted to step into another reality, here’s your chance.

SoCal theme parks are introducing some new attractions this summer and here’s some sneak peeks at what’s in store.

Fair warning, there may be a few spoiler alerts, but how else are you supposed to find out without a few teasers?

Universal Studios Hollywood- If “D’oh” is in your everyday vocabulary and if your mouth waters at the sight of burgers, donuts and beer, then Universal’s ‘The Simpsons’ Springfield is where you need to plan your next getaway.

The new life-sized town, which opened May 13 to compliment The Simpsons Ride, includes all that Springfield has to offer.

From a fully functional Krusty Burger (which the burger is actually pretty darn good and not just a fist-sized sloppy patty slapped between a soggy bun) Luigi’s Pizza, Lard Lad’s Donuts (yes, a huge pink donut… mmm..donut), Cletus’ Chicken Shack and Moe’s Tavern (where you can order an authentic Duff Beer in a souvenir glass). Other town staples include Stu’s Disco, the Springfield Police Station, Springfield Elementary and the Springfield Power Plant, and heads up, the occasional melt down can happen.

Knott’s Berry Farm – You can take the plunge and become a brave deep sea navigator at Knott’s this summer and save the park from a becoming a watery doom in its newest ride — Voyage to the Iron Reef —a 4-D interactive experience equipped with your very own freeze ray.

Opening May 15, the four-minute adventure aboard the four-person submarine takes you through the ocean floor to blast blowfish, eels and other creatures from Kraken Queen’s aquatic armies, which are all out to cause havoc on the theme park and its historic Boardwalk. Features of the ride include enchanting underwater forests, disorienting ocean currents tunnels and mysterious mechanical wreckages, according to Knott’s. Along the way, the submarines navigate 600 feet of track and include 11 scenes featuring hundreds of media-based creatures and live action special effects for a unique experience every time, Knott’s added.

Six Flags Magic Mountain- Six Flags is bringing back an oldie but goodie, with a twist.

Twisted Colossus.

It’s the park’s highly anticipated, world-record-breaking hybrid coaster.

Simple enough?

The iconic wooden coaster is revamped with a state-of-the-art Iron Horse Track, which takes you on a four-minute journey through nearly 5,000 feet of track and two lift hills.

The advanced technology, available exclusively at Six Flags, provides ride experiences never before possible on wooden coasters, such as over-banked turns and inversions, according to Six Flags. Twisted Colossus will feature numerous exciting components including a “Top Gun” element, an inversion where the train slows down upside down; Western Hemisphere’s first “High Five” – where two trains pass through an overbanked turn facing each other with the illusion that riders can reach out and “high five” each other; Zero G Roll where track twists 360 degrees; and a whopping 116-foot drop at 80-degrees.

So, if excitement is your sort of thing, any one of these places will do. Pack a few snacks, slap on the sunscreen and don’t forget a change of pants for these thrillers.

Congresswoman Norma Torres commits to vote “NO” on fast-tracking the TPP

On behalf of the Sierra Club, I would like to thank Congresswoman Torres for taking a stand against big polluters and big corporate interests by committing to vote against fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a multinational trade deal that is likely to be both bad for workers and for the environment. Trade deals of this magnitude have a bad track record of shipping local jobs overseas and of stripping away crucial environmental regulations. During my time as the regional organizing director for the Sierra Club’s My Generation Campaign, a campaign focused on cleaning our air, keeping fossil fuels in the ground and promoting a 100% local clean energy economy; we have had our ups and downs with Ms. Norma Torres at the state level in the past. We have shared very productive moments, such as working on promoting local clean energy together, as witnessed by last year’s Green Job Mixer/Fair in San Bernardino. We have also shared in some challenges with the Congresswoman, such as differing with Ms. Torres’s stance in her support of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the state of California. But last week, Congresswoman Torres did the right thing, and for that we thank her. Most of all, however, I would like to thank the room full of passionate environmental and labor activists who turned out to a TPP town hall at the offices of UFCW Local 1167 last month to hold both Congresswoman Norma Torres and Congressman Pete Aguilar accountable to the Inland Empire, our environment, our jobs and our economy. It was those voices in the room that day, and the millions of voices throughout the nation uniting against fast-tracking the TPP that will make the difference in fighting back this horrible trade deal. We are currently still waiting for Congressman Aguilar to commit to a “No” vote.

Allen Hernandez is the Statewide Lead Organizer for the Sierra Club’s My Generation Campaign. He is a resident of Fontana.

A growing gap between haves and have-nots

The causes are myriad and have long existed. However, the extent in U.S. cities has greatly increased in the last 20-50 years. Lack of reasonably-paying jobs — or any jobs at all — is a significant factor caused by outsourcing so much of our manufacturing. Social psychology and community conditions matter. Lack of education is also a major factor. All of these and more factor into a culture of poverty for which there is no simple cause or solution. Well-meaning as it may have been, Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” was a dismal failure because it fostered reliance on welfare programs. Ronald Reagan’s “trickle-down” economics diverted much of the gross earnings of workers into the pockets of the wealthiest people. Today’s ultra right-wing policies caused so much economic distress after 2008, driving many middle-class workers into distress while cutting funding to essential infrastructure elements. The divisiveness and hatred by conservatives toward anything progressive exacerbated and exaggerated tensions between the haves and have-nots, especially disgust of the power brokers toward the poor. Today, it’s not welfare for the needy — it’s welfare called “subsidies” for giant corporations.

Walt Haddock, San Gabriel

Police, firefighters not only one’s hurt by bankruptcy

It is sad that police officers and firefighters are leaving the city of San Bernardino. From what I understand, not one police office or firefighter lost a job due to reduction in force. Those who left have chosen to leave. Granted their benefits have been reduced, which may have been a factor in their decision, but they have continued to receive salary increases due to Section 186 of the City Charter. There has also been a mass exodus in the rank-and-file employees in Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Library, Community Development, and the non-sworn personnel in the police and fire departments. These employees did not leave by choice; their positions were eliminated. The remaining rank-and-file employees have also had their benefits cut. However, unlike sworn safety personnel, they haven’t received a salary increase since 2007. Talk about morale being low. So please don’t make it sound like only police officers and firefighters have been hurt by the bankruptcy. There are many dedicated employees working for the city, but they don’t make the headlines. They are appreciated just the same.

Marilyn Sauer, San Bernardino



What does real protest accomplish?

By Anthony Victoria

There have been a rash of protests across the country over perceived acts of wrongdoing by police. In recent days, the city of Baltimore, in particular, has seen burning of buildings and looting not unlike what we witnessed last summer in Ferguson, Missouri. In both cities, police officers were accused by an angry populace of allegedly sharing responsibility over the death of African-American males.

In a similar vein, many Latinos last week carried on in what is becoming an annual tradition: The yearly (and current format) “May Day” protests—held on May 1 for the past nine years—have been an exercise of democratic freedom in the call for immigration reform. Originally, the event called attention to working conditions but has taken a sharper turn towards the support of migrant’s rights.

In Maryland, the announcement of the charges against six Baltimore police officers surrounding the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray was welcome news for those who have called for law-enforcement accountability.

President Obama’s executive action last fall that has protected the status of certain immigrants also was good for the many fighters who tirelessly support such reform.

When the ‘new’ May Day protests began on May 1, 2006, the focus (as was many such staged events that year) was about impending immigration legislation. Peaceful demonstration in many areas across the country turned violent. Both Mexican and American flags burned in the streets. Some youngsters, I remember, participated in throwing rocks and bottles. Clashes with police abounded and additionally, high-school students dissented by walking out of classes.

We fast forward to what has taken place in Baltimore and Ferguson where people were seen on televisions across the country burning down buildings, looting, and wreaking havoc.

Logic would imply that, in the minds of certain protesters, burning down buildings and walking out of class brought forth needed action; it dictates that acts of looting and flag-desecration is the impetus for forcing change.

Sadly, and soundly, such reasoning is for fools.

What does it say when a group of so-called protesters destroy the very livelihood of fellow citizens who worked for years building their dream? What does it say when people break into stores and take food and other items without paying for it?

What does it say when we see some of our young people run amok in mayhem committing acts of violence? Is skipping school for a cause really the answer?

From where most of us come from, some of the above can be described as criminal. At the very least, it is irresponsible. Some considers such acts—wrongly—as protest. In fact, such acts do nothing to further or spur on change—if anything; such acts only bring about shame.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects, among other exercises, the right of citizens to assemble peacefully—as in a lawful demonstration of protest. It is fundamentally right—vital—that proper expression goes on unhindered. We must continue to wave our flags, chant slogans, carry signs, and voice our demands for change for the better. Anything more is simply egregious.

It is only when we practice the respect of opinion, the respect of other’s property, and the respect for law that we can really demonstrate real protest. Only when we act based on these principles can we spark and force real, meaningful change.

Anthony Victoria is a community writer for the Inland Empire Community Newspaper Group and can be reached at victoriaanthony91@gmail.com or at (909) 381-9898 Ext. 208

Congresswoman Norma Torres commits to vote “NO” on fast-tracking the TPP

On behalf of the Sierra Club, I would like to thank Congresswoman Torres for taking a stand against big polluters and big corporate interests by committing to vote against fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a multinational trade deal that is likely to be both bad for workers and for the environment. Trade deals of this magnitude have a bad track record of shipping local jobs overseas and of stripping away crucial environmental regulations. During my time as the regional organizing director for the Sierra Club’s My Generation Campaign, a campaign focused on cleaning our air, keeping fossil fuels in the ground and promoting a 100% local clean energy economy; we have had our ups and downs with Ms. Norma Torres at the state level in the past. We have shared very productive moments, such as working on promoting local clean energy together, as witnessed by last year’s Green Job Mixer/Fair in San Bernardino. We have also shared in some challenges with the Congresswoman, such as differing with Ms. Torres’s stance in her support of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the state of California. But last week, Congresswoman Torres did the right thing, and for that we thank her. Most of all, however, I would like to thank the room full of passionate environmental and labor activists who turned out to a TPP town hall at the offices of UFCW Local 1167 last month to hold both Congresswoman Norma Torres and Congressman Pete Aguilar accountable to the Inland Empire, our environment, our jobs and our economy. It was those voices in the room that day, and the millions of voices throughout the nation uniting against fast-tracking the TPP that will make the difference in fighting back this horrible trade deal. We are currently still waiting for Congressman Aguilar to commit to a “No” vote.

Allen Hernandez

is the Statewide Lead Organizer for the Sierra Club’s My Generation Campaign. He is a resident of Fontana.


Assisted suicide bad medicine for California

It’s interesting, yet not surprising that the recent editorial about assisted suicide failed to mention even one concern raised by the disability community. Opposition to California’s assisted suicide bill was merely brushed aside. What was ignored is the fact that the disability rights community is strongly opposed to physician-assisted suicide. Many in this community have faced terminal diagnoses on more than one occasion, and if assisted suicide was a legal option when this happened, they might have taken it. Instead, they have outlived those diagnoses and lived happy and productive lives. How many lives will be lost due to mistakes and abuse if assisted suicide is legalized? No arbitrary safeguard in a bill can protect a patient from a mistaken diagnosis or from a determined abuser. Assisted suicide is bad medicine for California.

Mark McGuthrie, Fontana

Thanks to public works for making a positive impact

The Del Rosa Neighborhood Action Group board of directors extends their most sincere appreciation for the efforts of the city of San Bernardino Public Works Department. This is a group of employees who get little public recognition but should. The men and women of the department are doing an outstanding job. Whether handling reports of graffiti, illegal dumping or pot holes, their response is relatively quick considering the limited funding of the department. Of special note would be the crews who respond to calls concerning weeds and trash along the right-of-ways and the refuse truck drivers who will stop and take a minute to pick up trash that fell out of the bins. Thank you for the positive impact you are making on our neighborhoods.

Evelyn Alexander, San Bernardino The letter writer is president of the Del Rosa Neighborhood Action Group.


Cinco de Mayo: A Battle for Recognition

By Dr. Lily Rivera

Forget all the articles you’ve ever read that purport to explain why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the United States. They’ve got it all wrong. It’s not about celebrating a victory in a battle on the fifth of May in 1862, in the City of Puebla, in the country of Mexico. It’s not about honoring poor and untrained peasants who, though far out-numbered, defeated soldiers from what was then the greatest military force in the world, the French Army.

No, it is not about that, and it is not about recent immigrants, either. It is about us, those of us who were born here, whose parents, grandparents, and great grandparents came to this country long, long ago. It is about us as American citizens who have been marginalized socially and economically, a people who have had to wrench their rights and privileges from an unwilling populace through the force of law. It is about those of us who, until only the most recent of times, were not included in this country’s history books.

We celebrate the Cinco de Mayo, not in recognition of a battle in another nation, but to battle for recognition in this nation—recognition that we are equal to all others in intellect and goodness, that we represent a positive element in American society. We seek recognition so that our children’s potential will be allowed to flourish, that we will be given equal opportunity in the workforce and leadership of this nation, goals that statistics confirm we have not yet achieved. Finally, we connect to a battle in the history of our forefathers because we need appreciation for the contribution we have made to this country.

For example, when we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, our local newspaper observed that day by publishing four full pages of stories about men who served in Vietnam. I read names like Kimball, White, Stenzler, Russell, Kaufman, Lockwood. I didn’t find a single Sanchez, Lopez, Gonzales.

We are all familiar with the Vietnam War statistics, that nearly 60,000 men and women lost their lives in the battlefields of that country, that nearly one in every five of those combatants was a Hispanic soldier. Recognition of the Hispanic contribution to the Vietnam War would have taken nothing from the recognition given to other war heroes. Yet, not one, not one Garcia, Rodriguez, or Nuñez was mentioned in our local newspaper’s four pages of coverage.

This matters. What is reported in today’s press is significant because today’s newspaper article is tomorrow’s historical document. If today’s periodicals mention only the crimes Hispanics commit and the failures they experience, that is all that the world will know about us. If our deeds are not applauded, if our achievements are not celebrated, if our contribution to this nation is not lauded today, our grandchildren will have nothing to honor about us tomorrow.

We celebrate Cinco de Mayo because we have a need for heroes, not just because heroes do great and glorious things, but because we see them as people like us. In finding commonalties with them, we draw courage, inspiration, and a belief in ourselves as worthy human beings. So, we reach back a century and a half. We reach south 2,000 miles, south to the heroes of another nation, of another time. We connect to the weak and the brave in a place far away in a moment long ago, for we see in their struggle and in their victory something within us, the potential for victory against great odds, the potential to contribute historically, significantly to this nation.

Our battle for recognition is not easy. There are those who suggest that Hispanics are unpatriotic, that we are not loyal Americans because on this day, we wave a flag from another country. Such people must be reminded that there is no disloyalty to this nation in honoring our roots in the same way Irish Americans do on St. Patrick’s Day and that German Americans do during Octoberfest. All Americans must recognize that what makes this nation great is that it is, and we are, red, white, blue—and brown, and that no group’s loyalty to this country is minimized by celebrating its heritage.

Part of the battle for recognition involves the fact that to many people in this nation, we are not “real” Americans. It is a sad fact that while many of us are generations removed from being immigrants, too many Hispanics are still generations away from being seen as “real” Americans.

My family, like yours, exemplifies this. My husband, Tom Rivera, was born 75 years ago. In the same house in which his father was born. In Colton. In California. In the United States. Yet, to many of our neighbors, we are and always will be, their “Mexican”‘ neighbors. I ask, and we should all ask, how many generations must we produce in order for our people to be considered real, full Americans? As long as we are not viewed as such, we will neither be the neighbor of choice nor the coveted employee.

If Hispanics are to achieve recognition in this nation, I believe that we must achieve three goals.

First, we must learn to like ourselves. People who do not like themselves, who have no respect for their own kind, allow themselves to be trampled. America has a history of giving disenfranchised people equal treatment only as a result of being forced to do so by this nation’s courts. Unless we respect ourselves enough to speak up for ourselves, we will not fully enjoy the fruits of American citizenship.

Self-love begins by touching our past. We should learn how our forefathers came to this nation, the struggles they endured, the sacrifices they made. We would be wise to visit the land of our ancestors, plant our feet where they once walked, bathe in the rivers that watered their crops. We should stand before the pyramids built by the Aztecs and the temples created by the Mayans and marvel at their spectacular engineering feats. It is through the touching of our past that we acquire the knowledge that leads to self-esteem.

Secondly, we must pledge to move ourselves beyond the “firsts.” We take great pride in having a first Hispanic doctor, a first Hispanic mayor, a first Hispanic congressman. These are commendable achievements, I agree. But, we should also be ashamed. Our forefathers founded this entire region and many of the major cities in California more than 200 years ago. Yet, it is only in the very recent past that we have been able to celebrate the first mayor, the first… We should be ashamed that we have not worked harder to improve our lot, have not pushed ourselves to greater achievements.

In our push for progress, we must be prepared to make sacrifices, just as our forefathers did. We, too, must risk. We must get involved in the social, educational and political processes of this nation, no matter how much failure and resentment we encounter. We may not succeed, but our failure, our experience, will become a steppingstone for the path that others can follow.

Thirdly, if we are to gain recognition and assure our full participation in this land, we must speak out against injustice and inequality. When people are arrested, they are reminded that they have the right to remain silent. But the American Civil Liberties Union reminds us of a far greater right—the right not to remain silent. We must exercise that right and not hesitate to address loudly and frequently the issues that prohibit us from developing our full potential and sharing our talents with this great nation.

One hundred fifty-three years ago, at the end of what we now call the Cinco do Mayo Battle, its leader, General Ignacio Zaragoza, wrote to the Minister of Defense in Mexico City to report his soldiers’ victory. He wrote:

“Las armas nacionales se han cubierto de gloria…puedo afirmar con orgullo que ni un momento volvio la espalda al enemigo el ejcrcito mexicano.”

“I delight,” he wrote, “in informing you that the armies of this country have covered themselves in glory. I can confirm with pride that not for one second did any soldier retreat; not for a moment did our military turn its back to the enemy to run away in defeat.” And neither must we … whether the enemy is ourselves or an unjust system.

True victory in this battle for recognition lies not just in our personal academic and financial success. A minority of successful Hispanics is not proof that we have achieved parity as a people. The battle will only be won when Hispanics no longer remain at the top of the dropout list, the prison population, and the unemployment lines. We must continue to celebrate Cinco de Mayo without apologies until the day when Hispanic Americans stand truly equal to all other Americans.

Dr. Lily Rivera was born in San Jose, California. She lives with her husband in Grand Terrace, CA. She can be reached at lilyrivera1@yahoo.com. This essay was first presented as a speech to the San Bernardino Hispanic Employees Alliance in 2001. It has been slightly modified to update years mentioned.

Senator Barbara Boxer: An Ace for Clean Air!

This congressional session, by denying climate science and decrying lifesaving EPA safeguards, the Republican led Senate did all they could to push forward policies that pay off the Big Polluters that support their campaigns. These attacks gut key programs that protect our air and water, cripple crucial efforts to tackle the climate crisis, and undermine hard-fought victories to protect the health of our families. But Senator Barbara Boxer stepped up to the plate for Californians, not big polluters. Californians, especially those of us in the Inland Empire, have already seen the effects of climate disruption first-hand in our communities, as the burning of dirty fossil fuels has given us some of the worst air quality in the nation. As Senator Boxer knows, Congress is no place to do the bidding of big polluters, and she has done everything she could to keep California’s communities healthy and safe. Senator Boxer has stood up for our communities, for clean air, and against big polluters, continually voting to uphold hard fought safeguards to protect our public health and demanding climate action. I applaud Senator Boxer for going up to bat against dangerous legislation and protecting what’s most important: the health of Californian families.

Jason Martinez Fontana, CA

Colton city council makes right decision in suspending fees for field use

By Anthony Victoria

The Colton City Council didn’t crack a home run Tuesday evening, but made a well-timed hit to keep the residents from losing. That is to say, especially, for those who utilize city athletic fields, you’re still in the game.

For the few of us who stuck around, we were able to witness the last item that came up for consideration: possible suspension of fees for use of city athletic fields for youth sports organizations. This, of course is a huge deal, considering the many number of baseball teams who participate in the Ken Hubbs Little League and others who play the summer-long sport.

Initially, the council was not set to vote on the matter but instead considered sending the item to committee for further study. It was only when Gary Grossich went up to speak that the issue took a humanistic tone. Gary implored that the council look at the issue from a practical matter—one where citizens struggle to pay additional fees and taxes on top of the already cumbersome amount of finances spent on daily living, not to mention utilities and property taxes. Gary argued that fellow citizens shouldn’t have to essentially pay for something they already own.

Council members Deidre Bennett and Isaac Suchil motioned and seconded that the issue to suspend fees come up for a vote. But then another consideration came up: the idea that leagues should be held responsible for some form of payment—the suggested amount from City Recreation Manager Deb Farrar was $1 per hour of facility use. And if the suspension of fees were approved, what would the city do with the fees that had already been paid?

Additionally council member Summer Zamora-Jorrin mentioned she was concerned that citizens were not given a deadline to pay fees. She would wholeheartedly favor a motion to suspend, she said; nevertheless, it wouldn’t be fair for those that paid their fees in full. Without a deadline, essentially some leagues could have as much time as they wanted to pay.

Mayor Richard DeLaRosa reiterated that it was important to have a fee in place but it was imperative that those utilizing the facilities have a say in how their money is being spent. “They are the ones who are there every day and know if something is wrong with the snack bar or other issue,” the mayor said. DeLaRosa also went further by saying it would only be fair to refund the fees already paid until an agreement could be put into place.

Bennett re-introduced the motion and with Suchil’s second, it passed unanimously.

The mayor and council did the right thing.

It is only right for residents to help be financially responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of such precious city facilities. The $1 per hour fee could be a good start. However, if a team uses the fields for 3,000-plus hours during its season—one can see that the costs add up quickly. As is the policy, the city must continue to hold non-residents to paying a larger fee—whatever the final amount is that is approved. And yes, deadlines must be set into place for payment.

The question is how much? Certainly when this item comes up for discussion residents must be present to make their case. It is true that no facilities can run for free. Water, electricity, trash collection, raking of fields, concessions, grass cutting and labor come at exorbitant costs. The city cannot go at it alone to cover this.

It is good that for now though, a little pressure is taken off the wallet and our kids can go out and do what many previously have done in countless summers past: just play ball.

Anthony Victoria is a community writer for the Inland Empire Community Newspaper Group and can be reached at victoriaanthony91@gmail.com or at (909) 381-9898 Ext. 208

Contractors Training Academy

I would like to announce the Contractors Training Academy to any San Bernardino or Riverside County Contractors interested in doing business with SBCCD who may need assistance with getting certification as WMBE/VOBE and bidding on Public Works Projects. Classes are Tuesday evenings for 10 weeks and begin on April 28, 2015, they are located at Crafton Hills College. If you are interested go to http://bit.ly/1j17aco to register.

Angela Brinker,

District Initiatives Coordinator Kitchell/BRJ

We don’t need an Internet-cable monopoly

I am controlled by Verizon. I live in Alta Loma and I can’t get any Internet service but Verizon DSL. It is so slow I cannot open my email without waiting over five minutes. I am writing this because I am already being controlled by a big company and hate it. So if Time Warner Cable and Comcast want to merge, why not? Wake up, people! We are being controlled by the big, corporate-owned utility companies already. Verizon owns the rights to my property and most of the entire city. I can’t use a different provider — Verizon has all the rights, and they won’t even add FIOS to my area. I live by Archibald Avenue and Baseline Road — big city streets, but Verizon won’t put in FIOS or allow our area to use another Internet service provider. We live in a free society, right? When it comes to our utility services, phone lines, TV and Internet, we are not free. I’ve been fighting Verizon for over five months now to improve my Internet service — they try to satisfy me with a new modem. They know that the problem is probably in the wiring in the ground but they refuse to come out and correct it. This is how bad my service is: I only have one laptop; I have one smart phone; I have DirecTV and never use On Demand due to slow Internet TV! When I want to open my laptop or phone to check email or do a google search, it takes over five minutes to connect — if it connects at all. Usually I get a “no Internet service” message, which is incorrect because I have Internet service, but it’s so slow that my devices time out. I read your opinion page and editorials every day. Someone needs to do an article about how Verizon has the monopoly on Internet service.

Debbie Carver, Alta Loma

Merger threatens net neutrality

I can’t think of anything more scary than the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner. Some of us fought furiously to keep an open Internet by contacting the Federal Communications Commission. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was bullied in five sessions of congressional meetings by the party that is supported by the 1 percent. Such a power grab would form a monopoly and raise fees on consumers with no restraint. Then would come the Internet disruption which could only be remedied by high-speed lanes for more fees. A healthy competition would be negated because we would be at the mercy and whims of a giant conglomerate. Would I like to see the Dodgers because I’m entitled to since I have cable? Of course. But you know what is worse? Being blackmailed by greedy corporations with no care for their own customers. As the merger happens, net neutrality will slowly disappear and any grass roots movements will follow in its path. I pity my children and grandchildren for they will never know how true customer service is delivered.

Nancy Blastos, Redlands


Religious freedom act allows discrimination

The only real motivation behind the current crop of “religious freedom” legislation is an attempt to shelter those wishing wish to inject their private biases into the public sphere. Everyone has the right to their personal views, free speech, and choice of religious association. But public behavior should be the one place where we Americans demonstrate the vitality of a pluralistic society. It’s sad to realize there are still folks who find kinship with those that excluded people from lunch counters because they weren’t the “right” kind, and sadder still to see religion being dragged through the gutter by those using it to shield their lack of basic decency in relations with fellow humans.

Brian Bennett, La Verne




Music, Film and Fun: It’s festival time in the Inland Empire


By Yazmin Alvarez

It’s festival time!

Whether it be music, movies or a good ol’ down home fair, the Inland Empire has a festival that’s just up your alley.

Not sure what’s out there? Well, here’s a quick look at some artsy, not-so-hipster events happening over the next couple of weeks. And the best part about them—they all give back to a worthy cause.


Missed Coachella or just didn’t care for the rowdy crowds and music? No problem.

The third annual Rialto Drop In Jazz Festival is set from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., April 25 at Frisbie Park.

The event, presented by Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson and the City Council, is an all day R&B and jazz fest hosted by Tommy Davidson.

This year’s lineup includes everything from Eisenhower High School’s Jazz Band, Sounds of Sunrise featuring Nate Watts, Stanley Randolph and Lance Lucas, to the All Star Band featuring a “George Duke Tribute” lead by Byron Miller (Psycho Bass).

Headlining this year are Sheila E. and David Benoit.

Ticket prices vary and can be purchased at www.RialtoJazzFest.com.

Proceeds from the jazz festival will support the Rialto Youth Collaborative and its programs.


The third annual Lunafest in Redlands screens Friday, April 17 at 7 p.m. at the Esri Auditorium, 380 new York Avenue in Redlands.

Presented by the Zonta Club of Redlands and The American Association of University Women Redlands Branch for AAUW, the traveling film festival features eight short films by, for and about women. The films are centered around stories of reflection, hope and humor.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Breast Cancer Fund and educational scholarships for women and girls in the community.

The event begins with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at 6 p.m. with showtime at 7 p.m.

Watch the Lunafest trailer here: www.lunafest.org/redlands0417. Information: call 909-996-8107 or email, michelle.bitonti@gmail.com.


The 100th annual National Orange Show Fair in San Bernardino runs April 22 through April 26.

Marking a milestone, this year’s event celebrates a century of citrus fun and includes a lineup of performances, entertainment and food. Carnival rides and a circus experience by Vanardos Circus and LA Circus are also planned this year. And highlighting traditions of the fair will be a variety of citrus displays, a quilting competition and show, and a baking contest. For ticket prices and more information, visit www.nosevents.com.

And while you’re out listening to some smooth jazz and dancing around, mingling with friends watching a flick or having fun at the fair don’t forget to snap some photos for a feature in iSeeIE!

Capture the moment and send it over to iseeie@iecn.com and tag @iecn on Instagram with #iSeeIE, #iecn. Yazmin Alvarez is a reporter with Inland Empire Community Newspapers and can be reached at iecn.yazmin@gmail.com.

Colton needs to put trash contract out to bid

Colton is not a rich community. We work hard for what we get, and when costs go up, it usually means giving up something else. In my own home, as a single mom raising two children, I watch every penny, so to learn that our trash rates are going up as much as 23 percent begs the question: Are our elected city leaders being as frugal as we are. To be fair, the higher rates weren’t their idea. Credit that to Republic Services, which has come up with some convoluted method to force residences to pay11 percent to 23 percent more. For businesses, rates would go up 14 percent to 20 percent. The proposed rates are included in Republic’s attempts to lock in an early extension of its contract. That’s where our Council has fallen short – by not putting the trash contract out to bid once it learned of Republic’s intentions. It can still do so, and I ask my fellow residents to urge them to do just that – put it out to bid, get the best price and show us that they’re looking out for our best interests. I did some research recently and found that if the Republic plan goes through, our trash rates will be 16 percent to 20 percent higher than those of Rancho Cucamonga – a city with a median household income nearly double that of Colton. In fact, our rates would be among the highest in San Bernardino County. What I also learned was how other trash haulers in other communities will often give back to those cities when seeking a contract extension. The fact that Republic won’t do this, and is clearly trying to squeeze every hard-earned penny out of us, speaks volumes of the kind of community partner they are – or aren’t. As offensive is Republic’s claim that it’s not a lot of money, suggesting that a few dollars here or there won’t hurt anyone. That’s an easy argument for a multimillion-dollar corporation. Have them manage a household on my budget, and see how “easy” that is. Please, council members, don’t go there. Put the trash contract out to bid, and let’s see if we can get a better deal.

Sandra Pedroza, Colton

Gender discrimination still a problem for working poor

So a San Francisco jury rejected Ellen Pao’s $16 million claim for damages because she was passed over for a promotion by her prestigious employer? Oh, poor baby! I find it impossible to sympathize with someone who enjoys extraordinary wealth but craves more. However, what I do find inexcusable concerning gender inequality in the workplace is the plight of poor women. For example, my mother (of blessed memory) worked throughout her life at menial jobs. And while she never rose above minimum wage, her male counterparts were routinely given a different title and paid more, despite performing the same work. She had no recourse because to complain would have brought retribution. So yes, ours is a great country, but we still have more to do before we can boast about gender equality in the workplace, especially for the working poor.

David Quintero, Monrovia

Start with infrastructure

We need a statewide water plan that would prevent a local water shortage from becoming a statewide crisis. The plan should include desalination plants but not be limited to them. Gov. Jerry Brown’s father had the right idea with the California Aqueduct. What is needed is an infrastructure that channels water from all its sources — desalination plants, snow runoff in season, water from rivers and streams when they are flowing — into reservoirs for storage and distribution to homes, businesses and farms. We will once again be paying more for using less water. Where will that money go? To increase the salaries of those who urge us to use less water, or to be used to build what is needed to solve the problem? And construction of a statewide water conservation and delivery system would create more jobs than building a bullet train. If there are concerns about the effects of desalination plants on marine life, we can consult with engineers and scientists in Israel or the United Arab Emirates, where desalination has been a fact of life for years. If Californians are expected to have dirt yards with desert plants — a California that looks like Arizona — then maybe we should just move to Arizona. Income and sales taxes are much lower and gasoline is a lot cheaper.

John M. Glenn, West Covina

Unions offer protection

I spent 35 years in the logistics industry. Because I worked in a union shop, all positions, whether it be mechanic, driver, warehouse, dispatcher or other service, were set by contract with the company. It didn’t matter what gender, race or stature you were. The pay rate and benefits for a particular position did not change. All that was required was to fill that position adequately. Many people bash unions. But my experience with regard to fairness was a positive one.

Thomas Wallis, Fontana


Make history when it really matters

R.A. Contreras

Many words get thrown around carelessly and hence tend to lose their real meaning. The word ‘friend’ is a good example. Now, perhaps, we can add another to that list: ‘historic’.

After Tuesday’s council meeting at San Bernardino City Hall, the word was getting thrown around as council members and other city officials gathered around for a photo op when signing a voted upon and approved document. The deed was an interim agreement that now gives the mayor, city manager, city attorney, and the city council reserved and checked powers as an alternative to those listed in the city’s beleaguered charter. Proponents say that this will help to ensure that the aforementioned city officials have better-defined roles in the quest towards an improved government. Councilwoman Virginia Marquez called it “historic” and fellow member John Valdivia walked out of the council meeting in protest before the 6-0 favoring vote could be cast saying that the process violated the Brown Act—California’s open meeting law.

Really, in a sense both could be right. This sort of agreement, I believe was acted upon in good faith—a move towards holding elected city officials accountable as they get to work on righting the town’s sinking ship. On the other hand, Valdivia has a valid point—especially so if the general public did not have an opportunity to have input in the process. The Brown Act requires posting of an agenda and for a public meeting to be convened legally—as in the usual process taken for a regular city council meeting. This did not happen. And yes, for a city to have the problems it does on the grand scale of a bankruptcy, it behooves San Bernardino to do everything in its power to act in the best interest of the public trust—with any indication of skirting the law to be avoided. Transparency is mandatory.

Nonetheless, the bigger problem I have is the banner-waving, fists-in-the-air attitude that some major accomplishment has taken place. Now, I must say that Marquez was one of the leading proponents to put in place a homeless access center at Seccombe Lake Park—and she took a lot of heat for it. I adamantly praise her for her efforts and hope sincerely that it puts a dent in the vexing issue. But what happened Tuesday night after a long, nearly-five-hour council meeting was hardly of historic proportions.

We elect our city officials on the premise that they will carry out the will of the people. But, if I had my druthers, I would prefer my city to gloat on improving more mundane conditions such as sweeping out the prostitution off Baseline, repairing the mess of pavement on Waterman, or installing lights on a darkened and dangerous Pacific. We citizens all want to be safe and prosperous. I take my hat off to our men and women in the police and fire department—as well as the countless other rank-and-file city employees for doing their utmost in this regard.

And as a lifelong citizen of a city that has seen much better days, I am sickened at the constant comparisons San Bernardino gets to Detroit—for both the unenviable qualities of bankruptcy and skyrocketing crime.

Until the city leaders as a whole work to the point where the former ‘All-American” city can have an actual solvency plan on the judge’s desk, get it actually approved, and a real, binding bankruptcy plan set in stone—yes be resolved of bankruptcy—will I only then agree that something truly historic has taken place.

R.A. Contreras is on Twitter @sbvalleywriter

Potholes: They’re Back and They’re Bad

Potholes have returned, and hitting one with your car can do a real number on tires, wheels, steering and suspension, and alignment. To help determine if hitting a pothole has damaged your vehicle, watch for these warning signs. · Loss of control, swaying when making routine turns, bottoming out on city streets or bouncing excessively on rough roads are indicators that the steering and suspension may have been damaged. The steering and suspension are key safety-related systems. Together, they largely determine your car’s ride and handling. Key components are shocks and/or struts, the steering knuckle, ball joints, the steering rack/box, bearings, seals and hub units and tie rod ends. · Pulling in one direction, instead of maintaining a straight path, and uneven tire wear, are symptoms of an alignment problem. Proper wheel alignment is important for the lifespan of tires and helps ensure safe handling. · Low tire pressure, bulges or blisters on the sidewalls, or dents in the wheel rim will be visible and should be checked out as soon as possible, as tires are the critical connection between your car and the road. If you’ve hit a pothole, it can be difficult to know if your vehicle has been damaged in the process, so have a professional technician check out the car and make the necessary repairs to ensure safety and reliability. April is National Car Care Month and the non-profit Car Care Council offers many free tools on its website to help you drive smart, save money and be car care aware, including the popular 80-page Car Care Guide and a custom service schedule and email reminder service.


Rich White

Executive Director, Car Care Council, Bethesda, MD 20814

San Bernardino welcomes the Great Race 2015

It’s exciting that such a fun, well-known and positive event is coming to San Bernardino. Most everyone has heard of the “Great Race” as they have it every year in a different part of the country. Movies and documentaries have been made about it. This year, it will leave the St. Louis area and come out through Route 66. On June 27, they will have an overnight stay and what a great welcome San Bernardino has for the 110 Great Race cars. Besides the Great Race cars, we have planned: Street closures from E Street to Arrowhead Avenue, between Second and Fourth streets as well as Court and Third; A free classic car show for the first 1,000 of 1980 and older American cars and motorcycles, funny cars, nitro drag cars, wild choppers from the Vegas Biker Build-Off, TV and movie cars, 15 gourmet food trucks, vendors, professional chili cook-off, band, a veterans’ parade with restored World War II jeeps and vehicles, antique fire trucks, the 1899 Locomobile, which is the first known car in San Bernardino, professional singers, stagecoach rides, magazine, newspaper and TV coverage, and more. What a fantastic event to bring downtown San Bernardino back to life. We have worked hard to make this the best event to welcome these nostalgic cars and a good time for the residents. We cannot be kept down and we want San Bernardino to win the award for the best city sponsorship and welcoming across their journey. And we will.

Steve Portias, San Bernardino

To save water, we must ban fracking, slow growth

Californians can conserve water. They can remove their lawns and favor rock gardens and drought-resistant plants. They can tell their waitresses to hold the water and can sleep two nights on the same sheets when they go to a motel. They can do all the things recommended to save water, but it will all be pointless if we don’t stop two things: the exponential growing of more nut farms and fracking spent oil wells for the methane gas that is produced. The nut industry is the darling of Wall Street now, and demand for new investments is sky high. Thus, enterprising souls are buying up semi-arid lands and drilling water wells in the Central Valley. This is unsustainable and insane in a state that is in a 20-year megadrought. Fracking is even more insane when each spent oil well takes 2 million to 8 billion gallons of water to frack. There must be 5,000 spent oil wells waiting to be fracked. Each fracked well produces a burst of methane gas into the atmosphere. Methane is 25 times more destructive to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. The initial billions of gallons of water is not the greatest damage done by fracking. Once the well is fracked, the fracking fluid must be pumped out and disposed of. This is done by drilling a disposal well out of the oil field and pumping the fluid into the ground where it eventually migrates to an aquifer. When this happens, the aquifer can no longer provide drinking water and can’t be used for agriculture.

Tom Freeman, Pinion Hills


Hop to it: Easter fun abounds in the Inland Empire

Yazmin Alvarez

As spring puts a hop in your step, get ready to bop around this weekend as several Easter events are taking place throughout the Inland Empire.

From egg hunts to decorating contests and suiting up in your Sunday best for service, there’s something for everyone!

•The City of Rialto will host its Spring Eggstravaganza April 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 pm at the Rialto Civic Center, 150 S. Palm Ave. The event will be held in conjunction with the Rialto Branch Library and includes free spring crafts, an egg hunt, plus games and giveaways.

For more information, call 909-877-9706.

•The Easter Bunny will be at the Inland Center Mall’s Center Court through April 4th, 500 Inland Center Drive, San Bernardino.

Families are invited to visit with the Easter Bunny and capture this memory by purchasing a special photo of their children with the floppy-eared favorite. Children also will receive a complimentary Easter activity book, courtesy of National Geographic when they visit, while supplies last.

Information: 909-884-7268

•Spring Festival & Egg Hunt A Spring Festival & Egg Hunt will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cucamonga Guasti Regional Park, 800 North Archibald Ave., Ontario.

Registration for the egg hunts run 9 to 10:30 a.m.

The event includesegg hunts, crafts, egg decorating contest, fun zone, visits from the Easter Bunny, food, vendors, face painting and more! Don’t forget your basket for the egg hunts! $10 Parking fee.

For more information 909-481-4205

•Imagine Church will hold its 8th annual Easter Eggstravaganza for children, ages 11 and under from 10 a.m. to noon April 4 at Palm Avenue Elementary School, 6565 Palm Ave., San Bernardino. Gates open at 9:45 a.m.

The free event will include crafts, an Easter skit, a visit from Easter Bunny and an egg hunt with 15,000 eggs. The egg hunt will be divided by age groups. Information: 909-887-0604 or imaginechurch.net.

•Sunrise Church in Rialto will hold a unique celebration of Easter services April 5.

Easter Sunrise Service begins at 6:30 a.m. with breakfast following. Additional services are set at 8:15 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11:45 a.m. with music and celebration with the Gospel Choir, Praise Band, Praise Singers and Dance Ministry. (Children’s Bible classes are also available.)

Special Activities at the Sunrise Rialto Worship Center will follow each service (9:20-9:50am, 11:05-11:35am, 12:50-1:20 p.m.) and will include face painting, bouncers, petting zoo, popcorn, sno-cones and cotton candy.

Spanish Easter Services begin at 8:15 a.m. and 10 a.m. in the Sunrise Church Rialto Auditorium. For more information, call 909-875-5566 ext 212.

And while you’re out hopping around with family, don’t forget to snap some photos for a feature in iSeeIE!

Did you get a cute moment with them wearing floppy ears or in their best Easter outfit out hunting for eggs?

Capture it and send it over to iseeie@iecn.com or tag @iecn on Instagram with #iSeeIE, #iecn.

Yazmin Alvarez is a reporter with Inland Empire Community Newspapers and can be reached at iecn.yazmin@gmail.com.

Bipartisanship more necessary than ever

With most Americans getting their political knowledge purely from modern sources of sensationalized media, there is a lack of respect that self-described “informed voters” have for anyone who disagrees with their “correct knowledge.” Many times I’ve seen talk-show hosts curse out members of the opposing political ideology only to be retaliated with bleeps. Without mutual respect and indoctrinated by media to have an elitist attitude, voters push their representatives to undermine the success of the other party and to continuously elect representatives who share their extreme views. Congress has been bickering over partisan bills, while matters they agree on are neglected. This new Congress passed the partisan Keystone XL pipeline instead of working on bipartisan corporate tax reform. With the United States in one of its most dire economic straits as the deficit continues to grow, bipartisanship seems more necessary than ever.

Austin Chao, Chino

Permanent solutions to California’s drought

The newspapers and TV are full of information on the drought in the state of California. Some are pushing rationing, but no one is offering permanent solutions. I would like to offer some solutions I feel could be accomplished if “the powers that be” had the willpower to pursue them. First, new construction could have a gray water filtering system for reuse. Existing buildings could be retrofitted which would be expensive, but maybe our government could give tax breaks or assistance. Seeding of clouds are being done, but not near enough. California has numerous clouds and fog that pass over us without being seeded. Which means neighboring states receive the rain that should have been ours. We need to build an aqueduct from the East Coast to the West Coast, with outlets reaching various states. When some states are flooded, the flood waters could be diverted to the main aqueduct and moved to areas that can use it. Dams could be built to generate electricity for power to push the water over mountains and the extra electricity could be sold to municipalities. I know, your first thought is it would cost a lot of money. Well, just look at what our government is spending now on pork barrel and useless studies, as well as flood control and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Also, I’m sure some think it’s an impossible engineering feat. Well, look what was accomplished by ancient Romans and Indians like the Mayans. Or modern time accomplishments like the Sacramento Delta or the Works Progress Administrations (WPA) projects. These things could all be accomplished if we had good leaders.

Mary Ann Rohde, Yucaipa

Bipartisanship more necessary than ever

With most Americans getting their political knowledge purely from modern sources of sensationalized media, there is a lack of respect that self-described “informed voters” have for anyone who disagrees with their “correct knowledge.” Many times I’ve seen talk-show hosts curse out members of the opposing political ideology only to be retaliated with bleeps. Without mutual respect and indoctrinated by media to have an elitist attitude, voters push their representatives to undermine the success of the other party and to continuously elect representatives who share their extreme views. Congress has been bickering over partisan bills, while matters they agree on are neglected. This new Congress passed the partisan Keystone XL pipeline instead of working on bipartisan corporate tax reform. With the United States in one of its most dire economic straits as the deficit continues to grow, bipartisanship seems more necessary than ever.

Austin Chao, Chino

Cesar Chavez: A man who was full of humility

By Antony Victoria

I was about twelve years old when I first learned about the late-great Cesar Chavez. Since then, I have learned to embrace his birthday annually in March. A leader of his stature deserves the commemoration.

I am not quite sure we will ever see a leader of his quality again. We can only hope.

Throughout primary and secondary school, we learned of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Kennedy brothers (John Fitzgerald and Robert Francis)–some of the most influential leaders in the history of the United States.

Soon enough I learned that a Mexicano, more specifically, a Chicano (Mexican-American) is in the same standing as the aforementioned individuals; a man who favored peace and negotiation, despite facing discriminatory and outright hate from opposers.

And yet this powerful man was nothing more than a concerned human being–one who realized that the exploitation of farm workers was pushing families near the brink of poverty. A quiet man, whose eyes captured an enigma. In them one saw the strange combination of gentleness, sadness and humor. As James Vizzard wrote in the Progressive Magazine in 1966:

“So speaks the man who is determined to lead his people out of bondage, the leader who provides the greatest hope of our generation that the isolated and exploited farm worker be brought into the mainstream of American life.”

Alike King, who seized victory and progress with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Cesar remained humble in the midst of his eventual triumph in the Delano grape strike. In turning down a national award, Chavez expressed respectfully:

“What has happened in Delano is not the work of any one man and I do not believe it would be fitting to honor any one. We as a group can only bring honor by continuing to fight here in Delano and by continuing to remain non-violent in our struggle.”

Chavez’s humility is what caused farmworkers and fellow organizers alike to admire him, though his modesty was not due to coyness, as some people have inferred. Instead, it was his first hand experience.

The Arizona native moved with his family to California during the Great Depression after their land and grocery store was confiscated due to financial hardship. His family spent many years working picking peas, lettuce, cherries, corn, and grapes in the fields. Chavez would only study up to the Seventh Grade, opting to devote the majority of his time working as a farmworker to help support his family.

In an era in which so many social activists and community organizers let frustration get the best of them, which subsequently led to their promotion of self-defense and violent measures, Chavez chose non-violence. As Mohatmas Gandhi had done in India just a few decades before, and King a few years prior, the United Farm Workers union co-founder viewed pacifism as a decisive tool for social justice. It was Chavez’s decision to approach the trip from Delano to Sacramento, not as a protest march, but as a pilgrimage of penance and prayer.

It is therefore important to recognize that Chavez’s legacy exceeds politics, social justice, and even legal justice. The battle for labor rights was not one that aimed to elevate Mexican-Americans, Filipinos, or other marginalized groups’ status in the U.S. As the pilgrimage demonstrated, it was a call for respect. A call to appreciate thy fellow man and empathize with their hardships.

Chavez’s legacy, in my perspective, will always motivate people to seek humility before anything else. In a world that continues to see exploitation of labor, discrimination against migrants, and social injustice, perhaps that is all we need–a bit of humility.

Sí se puede, humanidad. Sí se puede.

Anthony Victoria is a community writer for the Inland Empire Community Newspaper Group and can be reached at victoriaanthony91@gmail.com or at (909) 381-9898 Ext. 208

Ysmael R. Villegas: A Legacy of Courage and Valor

Today, we remember and reflect on the legacy of an American hero. Seventy years ago on this day, March 20, 1945, Staff Sergeant Ysmael R. Villegas sacrificed his life in a heroic battle in the Philippine Island of Luzon during World War II. He was born and raised in Riverside’s Casa Blanca community where family and friends fondly called him “Smiley.” He died a hero one day before his 21st birthday. A member of the “Greatest Generation,” Staff Sergeant Villegas served valiantly to defend the freedoms we Americans enjoy today. Staff Sergeant Villegas is Riverside’s first native-born recipient of the Medal of Honor. It was awarded posthumously to his wife and son on October 19, 1945 for gallantry and valor beyond the call of duty. Later, with full military honors, he was the first soldier interred at Riverside National Cemetery in 1978. His gravesite is located in Section 5, Site 1178. As the war raged throughout Europe and the Pacific Theater, Staff Sergeant Villegas served in the U.S. Army in Company F, 127th Infantry, 32d Infantry Division. He was fatally shot by enemy Japanese soldiers. He successfully charged five rifle pits but didn’t make it to the sixth one. His leadership inspired his soldiers, and according the citation from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Archives reads in part: “Through his heroism and indomitable fighting spirit, S/Sgt. Villegas, at the cost of his life, inspired his men to a determined attack in which they swept the enemy from the field.” We remember and thank Ysmael R. Villegas for exemplifying the true meaning of honor, valor and patriotism. Sincere condolences to his son Charlie Villegas (my high school friend), and his numerous family members. We are grateful for the ultimate sacrifice of Staff Sergeant Ysmael R. Villegas, our Hometown Hero.

Frances J. Vasquez, Riverside, CA

San Bernardino Memorial Services for Leno F. Díaz

San Bernardino Community Scholarship Association has added a new scholarship fund in honor of our father, Leno F. Diaz — the “Leno F. Diaz Memorial”! If anyone is interested in donating to the scholarship fund (in lieu of flowers, etc.), please send checks made out to — San Bernardino Community Scholarship Association (SBCSA). Please write “Leno F. Diaz Memorial” in the “memo” portion of the check and mail to: San Bernardino Community Scholarship Association Attn: Susan Zavala 777 North F Street San Bernardino, CA 92410 We are so honored by this effort spearheaded by our folks’ dear friends in San Bernardino. We thank them for caring so much about Leno’s legacy. I understand that the funds will go to support students at a high school in San Bernardino that focuses on the arts. Just as dad – the artist – would have wanted it. Services will be held on Saturday, April 11, 2015 from 2 – 4 p.m. at the home of Tom and Lily Rivera, 23170 Vista Grande Way, Grand Terrace, CA 92313 Thank you,

Kathy and Eduardo

Sweet treats made with love, care

The most coveted item you can bring to a potluck, party, friendly or family gathering of any kind, is a pie or cobbler from Mommie Helen’s Bakery. If ever you thought your grandmother or great aunt could make a great pie, forget about it. Their pies and cobblers are made from the very best ingredients, know how, and the most important ingredient: care and love. After having Mommie Helen’s sweet potato pie, you will wonder why anyone would want pumpkin. Dorothy Pryor Rose and her wonderful family have a following, me included, that extends far beyond the Inland Empire. People come from far and wide to pick up their pies. A few Thanksgivings ago, I witnessed a very elegant woman back a brand new white Bentley up to their door. She then loaded her entire trunk with sweet potato pie — front to back, side to side full. Maybe about 100 pies. They have outgrown two other locations, and have now settled in a new spot on South E Street, next to FedEx. They will make FedEx famous! I wish Dorothy and her family all the luck in the world. God bless you!

Phil Turner, Grand Terrace

Foodie Fests: 10 days to eat like a king

Foodies put your eatin’ pants on, the next 10 days are devoted for those that are always hungry for more.

And since we’re talking food here there’s no need to set up this elaborate intro on what’s going on and give reasons why it’s happening.

It’s simple —three events, 10 days— it’s all about food, baby or in my case, a food baby. In order of indulgence opportunity:

°San Bernardino’s Third Thursdays Food Fest – March 19 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Court Street Center lot, 300 N “D” St, San Bernardino. Food trucks expected include Brätworks, Natural Gourmet Hot Dogs (San Bernardino’s Own), Belly Bombz Korean BBQ, The Lobos Truck, My Delight Cupcakery, Piaggio on Wheels, The Grilled Cheese Truck and Crepes Bonapart. For updates follow SB Third Thursdays on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SBThirdThursdays or on Twitter, @SBThirdThursday.

°Inland Empire Restaurant Week – March 20 – 29 A foodie’s dream. A 10-day dining opportunity featuring discounted prix fixe menus from more than 200 of the best restaurants in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. No tickets or passes are required. Food lovers can simply dine out at as many participating restaurants as they like during Inland Empire Restaurant Week to take advantage of special pricing and menus. This year’s eateries include Riverside’s ProAbition, Montclair’s Dolce Bistro, Redlands’ own Brewcakes and Rancho Cucamonga’s N7 Creamery * Cafe * Bakery.

Visit www.InlandEmpireRestaurantWeek.com for more information and a complete list of participating restaurants.

°The Great American Foodie Fest – March 27 – 29 at Qualcomm Stadium, 9449 Friars Rd in San Diego.

Here’s your chance to join White Castle Craver Nation.

That’s right, America’s first fast-food hamburger chain will serve its signature sliders fresh for the first time in Southern California during the event.

More than 50 food trucks, a beer garden, live entertainment, carnival rides, games and ready for this —eating competitions, are all part of the Red Dragon hosted food party, the founders of the popular Las Vegas Foodie Fest.

The event’s food party includes an impressive food truck line up including the Middle Feast Food Truck, winners of season five of Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race;” Crepes Bonaparte, featured on cooking shows such as “Giada” and a second helping if you missed it in San Bernardino; along with dozens more.

Unlimited general admission starts at $8 a day or $13 for a weekend pass per person if purchased in advance, and $10 a day or $15 for a weekend pass if purchased at the gate. Active military personnel and veterans, seniors 59 and older, and San Diego County first responders will receive a discount of $2 off ticket purchased at the gate with a valid ID. Individual food and drink items are priced per purchase. Parking will be available at no cost.

Follow the fest on Facebook at facebook.com/GreatAmericanFoodieFest and @GAFoodieFest on Twitter for truck updates and ticket information.

So if you’re on a diet, counting carbs, calories or find yourself saying “Thanks, but I really shouldn’t” when offered more, I’m sorry.

I’m making room for second breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and midnight snacks. Join me in digging in!


More dialogue about sexual assault needed

College should be safe, however, no place is 100 percent safe. When a person discloses a trauma such as sexual assault, it is critical they feel safe. Students contacting the San Bernardino County Sexual Assault Services will have this safe space to contact 24 hours a day. I’m a social work graduate student at Cal State San Bernardino, where we recently had two sexual assaults on women within days of each other. As a member of the CSUSB community, my heart goes out to the victims. Every college/university should reach out to work with SBCSAS to further ensure student safety and recovery. We need more open and honest conversations about sexual abuse and violence against women on all college campuses to maintain awareness and relevance of these issues. We can only address the problems when we address the problems.

Troy Mondragon, San Bernardino The letter writer is a member of the San Bernardino County Behavioral Health Commission.

Lawmakers are part of the problem

The new guys don’t seem any different than the old fogies. Rep. Norma Torres, D-Ontario, is on the Homeland Security Committee. I didn’t read anything about her protesting about the GOP’s proposal. She didn’t go to the press and point fingers at the culprits who started this mess. Reporters are the main tool to get things done. The second she heard a hint at such a despicable thought as not funding our security, she should have bolted to the press with the information. Forget what the parties would think. When approval of Congress is below 20 percent, don’t tell us you are frustrated, tell us who is screwing us. Tell us what you said and who responded to it. We need to know who is not letting Congress do its job. We don’t want to know Republicans or Democrats, we need to know who squeaked the first words, “Let’s place the nation in danger, don’t fund our security.” Tell us who hates Obama so much that they are willing to place the entire country in harm’s way. If you’re part of a committee, it’s your responsibility to meet its goal and report who is trying to sabotage it. Torres, Pete Aguilar and Paul Cook, if you don’t want to make waves, get out of the pool. And as for Torres and Aguilar, please don’t say, you’re getting your feet wet. You ran for the office, you should’ve known what you were getting into. No excuses.

Victor P. Lopez, San Bernardino

In-home caregivers work non-stop

This is a response to recent news about in-home supportive services, the state-funded program that allows in-home care for the disabled. I am a California native. I grew up in Southern California. I went to elementary school here. I went to college here. I married here. My children went to school here. I worked hard my whole life. I paid my taxes, I gave to charity and taught my children sensitivity and responsibility. With both my husband and I working, we put away for retirement. We paid off our house and our cars and put a little aside for the kids’ college. We volunteered and were involved in our community. But then my husband got sick. Seriously sick. My aging parents needed help; mom fell and broke her hip and dad has dementia. We were hit by a drunk driver who had no insurance. My eldest son lost his leg. My daughter’s child was deprived of oxygen at birth and is brain damaged. My grandchild has autism and cannot be left unsupervised. I took on more jobs. At one point, I was working three jobs and still being a caregiver. We exhausted our savings and retirement on medical bills. I was exhausted and it all ended when I was taken by ambulance from my work. I was forced to change my lifestyle for my own health and so I chose being a caregiver to the one who needed me most. We made the choice not to go to a nursing home because of the low quality of individual care. We couldn’t afford assisted living or a nurse’s aid part-time. We adapted. I go to food banks. I shop at the Goodwill. I cut coupons. I work hard 24/7. My child has a feeding tube; it has to be cleaned twice a day. My father needs help dressing. My mother has to be driven to the doctor. Uninterrupted sleep is priceless. I do this job for under $10 an hour, part-time pay, full-time work. No vacations, no sick days, no days off. I am not on drugs, alcohol or illegal substances. I am not after my family members’ money or worldly goods. We don’t have any. I could be Caucasian. I could be black. I could be Hispanic. I could be Asian. I could be young. I could be middle-aged. I could be old. I deal with prejudice from misconceptions and false beliefs. I am the poster child of the IHSS. I could be you.

Angel Gordon, Hesperia

The trust factor

I can’t imagine how anyone could vote for Hillary. She even went against the president’s mandate and did whatever she wanted. She follows in the footsteps of her famous, impeached husband as just another politician who cannot be trusted.

Ed Wentz, Colton



The Great Race: The perfect catalyst for San Bernardino’s looming Art culture

Anthony Victoria

San Bernardino, like many U.S. cities, prides itself on its rich historic past. The illustrious Route 66 is one particular historical item that continues to be embedded in the minds and hearts of our city’s residents.

The Great Race—the annual cross-country competition that is scheduled to take place on June 27—will bring back the aura of the car culture that continues to take great precedence. City officials and community leaders are working diligently to ensure the Race’s one-day stop in San Bernardino is one that people won’t forget.

One can already envision the smell of chili and barbecue, taste the strong hops of rich craft brewed beer, and see the joy in the faces of local children as they witness antique roll through E Street.

“We’re blessed to have partnerships that step up to help us as we try to rebrand and revitalize downtown,” Valdivia told the San Bernardino Sun on February 3. “It’s events like this that send a message.”

The message is that the city of San Bernardino is ready for rejuvenation. Residents and leaders will no longer stand idle to witness the city worsen due to fiscal crisis. As was expressed by Mayor Carey Davis during his State of the City Address on March 6, “I ran for mayor so that I could lead the city out of this disaster and the common council and I are committed to turning this crisis into an opportunity.”

While skepticism remains regarding the mayor and common council’s ability to bring in businesses, job opportunities, reduce crime, and solve the homeless issue; many residents in recent months have rallied around city-wide efforts to promote stability and foster community.

The community road shows that took place throughout the month of February allowed residents to provide dignitaries and San Bernardino City Unified School District officials their input on different options and methods they can use to improve the quality of life in San Bernardino. Among them was the need to organize more events geared towards boosting the morale of the common folk. Another event that saw a great amount of community participation was the KaBOOM Playground Build that took place in the fall. Over 200 volunteers—ranging from local university students to the mayor himself—helped turn Ninth Street Park into a modern playground for young children on the Westside.

As a younger resident, while appreciating the glamour and history of Route 66, I recognize that in the long run, a cultural shift away from the car culture may be looming. However, that does not imply that the significance of Route 66 will fade away.

In speaking to artists and young people in general, the city’s new breed (my personal description of San Bernardino residents ages 18-30) yearns for creative expression through music and murals. They acknowledge the importance of the route to the city’s cultural development, and they believe the arts can exemplify this even further. Cal State San Bernardino professors Tom McGovern and Juan Delgado are aspiring to transform the windows and walls of the Arts on 5th building, located near downtown San Bernardino, into a visual structure that will showcase the city’s long-standing fascination with the road.

San Bernardino should continue to hold events like the Great Race, but also incorporate other intriguing components such as mural painting, concerts, and farmer’s market simultaneously to increase participation and inclusion among residents.

In its 32nd year, the Great Race has as adopted the interesting motto, “Ride, Repair, Repeat.” This event, with swift and decisive input from everyone in San Bernardino, will provide a shot of confidence that the once All-America city needs.

Anthony Victoria is a community writer for the Inland Empire Community Newspaper Group and can be reached at victoriaanthony91@gmail.com or at (909) 381-9898 Ext. 208

Cal State San Bernardino Crime Increase

In light of the unprecedented criminal activity on campus, I wanted to reach out to each of you and let you know how we are addressing and mitigating this important issue. Earlier this morning, I produced a special video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2asWTp8NCo&feature=youtu.be) on this subject and I urge you to take the time to watch. If need be, I have posted a transcript of the video, below. Please know that CSUSB is committed to keeping everyone across campus safe and sound. Over the last two weeks, CSUSB has experienced an unprecedented number of crimes on campus. This is incredibly disturbing, as this university has long been a model for campus safety, including being ranked amongst the safest campuses in California. As you would imagine, a number of faculty, staff and students have contacted me with their concerns. There is little doubt that these experiences are hurting the confidence in safety that we expect, and this is unacceptable. Let me be clear – the safety of our campus community is our HIGHEST priority and I have instructed our leadership team accordingly. University Police staffing has been more than doubled, 24 hours a day, in response to these incidents, including bringing in additional officers from other CSU campuses to supplement our force. Expect to see a high level of police visibility for the foreseeable future. It’s important for everyone to also know that the suspect involved in the carjacking incident is now behind bars, awaiting trial. I have personally called on our city and county leaders to significantly increase their police presence of the neighborhoods surrounding CSUSB. To that end, each of us has responsibilities as well. Our police force can only do their job effectively if the community is doing its part. All of us must commit to being more vigilant while on campus and immediately reporting anything or anyone that appears out of place. Pay closer attention to details that we often take for granted. Put away cell phones, head phones and other devices that distract us when moving about the campus. If possible, move around the campus with a group or at least one other person. This is especially important during evenings and weekends, when the campus can be less populated. If need be, please contact University Police at the number on your screen (909-537-5165) for an escort and they will get to you as soon as possible. When in doubt, call University Police immediately. If anyone has information on the most recent incidents on campus, I urge you to come forward and report it. Every communication we receive will help to restore confidence in the safety of our campus. We are a community! Let’s work together to ensure that CSUSB will always be a great environment to learn, work and live. Thank you!

Tomás D. Morales President

High-speed rail system a waste of money

Well, California is getting a bullet train! Lakes are drying up; farms are drying up; water levels all over are going down, but we are getting a bullet train. Maybe the train can bring water from up north. We watch TV when it rains and see all the runoff going to the ocean. You’d think with all the labor and skill in California that we could store or divert that water to the lakes or storage facilities. We could also build de-salting plants all along the coast and pump the water to the lakes. With the billions that Gov. Jerry Brown is going to spend on the bullet train that nobody wants or needs, he could do something to help California instead of wasting money on a bullet train.

Rudy Archuleta, San Dimas

 Why California’s gas prices are so high

California gas prices are up $1 in a month for unnecessary reasons: The Torrance refinery is shut down from damages and other refineries in the state are down to create the costly summer blend. The problem is that the state has refused to allow more refineries to be built. Indeed, with onerous restrictions against developing plentiful state oil and gas resources, our gas prices will continue to be the highest in the nation. Worse, extreme California environmentalism is responsible for punishing AB 32 carbon taxes that not only raise the cost of gas, but raise the overall cost of living in the state. Coupled with environmentalist-caused high water prices and Central/Southern California water shortages, not from drought, and the insanity of big government over-regulation and taxes, California is sadly crashing in slow-motion. Adding insult to injury, California being a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants simply exacerbates the costs by billions, along with the problems of domestic and national security.

Daniel B. Jeffs, Apple Valley


Daylight Saving Time – How to survive losing an hour

Yazmin Alvarez

Let’s face it, not all of us are blessed as spring chickens anymore, so losing an hour of sleep this weekend as we turn clocks forward an hour (early Sunday morning—March 8) for Daylight Saving Time is just going to give us an added sluggish start to those already, too-early to get up mornings.

So why does “spring forward” sound so fun when in reality we’re losing?

I don’t have the answer to that and I didn’t really take the time to dig for one, but I did find some helpful hints to help make the time change less miserable for the already sleep deprived, like your’s truly.

Thinking I’m not the only that struggles to get a good night’s rest and is up at 3 a.m. watching ‘Intelligence for your Life,’ soaking in tons of life knowledge, brain stuff like learning why people are taking selfies with bears in the wilderness and what’s causing our rumps to expand—yea, stuff like that keeps a girl up at night.

The answers being: office chairs and Instagram followers (you can decide where to draw the correct line).

But seriously, so many of us are chronically sleep deprived that we can’t really afford to lose another hour. So how do we deal?

That answer I do have!

A post on Health.com—4 Ways to Make the Switch to Daylight Savings Time Less Miserable—among several other sites, offers ways to help dumb down the science of losing sleep and adjusting to Daylight Saving Time (again, March 8).

Tips from sleep specialist and clinical psychologist Michael Breus, PhD:

•Start by dialing back your bedtime-

“If you’re among the many Americans who are sleep deprived, it probably won’t be difficult for you to fall asleep at the new time,” Breus says. Just be sure to set your clock ahead before going to sleep on Saturday, March 7. “That way, seeing the lost hour up front will motivate you to go to bed earlier.” Waiting to change your clocks the next morning and watching that hour disappear can feel like a loss, says Breus.

If you’re among the only marginally sleep deprived, or if you have generally good sleep habits, you can get yourself in gear by pulling back your bedtime incrementally before the time change. “On the Wednesday before the time change, go to bed 15 minutes earlier,” Breus suggests. “On Thursday, go to bed another 15 minutes earlier, and another 15 the next two nights so that by Saturday, you’re going to bed an hour early.”

•Avoid certain drinks this weekend-

You already know that limiting your alcohol intake is generally a smart move, and this weekend in particular, Breus advises capping your nightcap. “Even though alcohol makes you feel sleepy, it prevents you from reaching those all-important deeper stages of sleep,” he said. (I don’t advise it or promote it, but, a few bottles can surely be a K.O.)

Bustle.com suggests to ditch the caffeine. I know, I laughed, too.

Most of us need the swig of tar before becoming human but caffeine can get in the way of a good night’s sleep. They suggest to keep the artificial energy to a minimum in the days leading up to March 8.

Tweak your workout schedule (maybe)

For some folks with a regular fitness routine, switching things up can help you adjust to Daylight Savings Time. Regular exercise is a key component to maintaining a healthy sleep schedule. Just remember to preserve a three-hour window between your sweat session and bedtime so you have enough time to wind down, Breus suggests.

So, what did we learn?

Daylight Saving Time sucks and we’re going to be tired come Monday. Good luck and sleep tight.

~iecn.yazmin@gmail.gmail.com or 909-381-9898 Ext. 207

Intervention program steers kids from gangs

As a taxpayer, I believe it is important to fund programs that educate our youth about the dangers of gang involvement. There are currently 400,000 teen gang members in the U.S.; 100,000 are in some type of detention/correctional facility costing approximately $250 per day. This early intervention program targeting children beginning in the fourth grade will increase awareness and teach youth skills that will help them prepare for adolescence, which is a time when they are more vulnerable to the influence of gang involvement. Bringing community organizations and faith-based programs together for this cause will help youth feel connected to resources in their community. If we can prevent one young person from getting involved in gangs through this program, the money spent will be worth every penny. I say, “Pay and prevent now or regret and pay later!”

Martha Saucedo, Loma Linda

City must stop driving out local businesses

The city of San Bernardino has done everything it can to drive businesses out of San Bernardino. I realize our police and authorities are spread too thin due to economic issues, but when we have homeless people walking down the streets with stolen $300 shopping carts, $15 dairy crates by the hundreds in the back of pickup trucks and in private garages, and thousands of these crates at the swap meet — it is printed right on the sides of all these crates that this is private property and a $500 or $1,000 fine if caught in possession of these crates — it costs the companies millions of dollars a year which is passed on to consumers. Then we have people on offramps and street corners selling flowers, fruits, vegetables, tamales and more with no city permit or license; they pay no sales tax or income tax while our local businesses are struggling to stay in business and forced to pay all of these fees. We have people selling new products at their yard sales without permits or paying taxes, as well as hanging garage sale signs all over city posts and streets for days and weeks at a time — which is illegal. Fining these people would recoup money and pay the salaries for people out busting these lawbreakers and thieves, and it would help support local businesses.

Steve Portias, San Bernardino

Foster children long for a family — not medication

As a current advocate for foster youth, an adult supporter for California Youth Connection-Riverside chapter, and a Children’s Social Services employee for 15 years, I would like to acknowledge the San Bernardino Sun’s recent article, “California foster care: Push to curb medication has failed in past” (Feb. 23). The voices of foster youth must be acknowledged and considered in the decision-making process which affects their lives. The Katie A. decision enacts policy to elevate the voice of the children and families involved with social services, mental health, foster agencies and group homes. Forums like Child Family Teams, meetings held on a routine basis, a provision of the Core Practice Model, seeks to ensure children’s mental health needs are met and voices are heard. I volunteer as an adult support to connect with youth as a caring, committed adult. In my opinion, these children long for a sense of family — not medication.

Amada S. Whitson, Redlands

Making a healthier state

The legal smoking age should be raised to 21. Smoking is unhealthy, which is why people shouldn’t smoke in the first place. Smoking causes lung cancer, addiction and many other problems. Why should we allow someone who has just reached their 18th birthday to ruin their life at such a young age? John Adams said, “Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man … .” By passing Senate Bill 151, we can prevent young people from becoming addicted to the harmful habit of smoking. Also, it has been proven that people are more likely to become addicted to smoking if they start at a young age. By raising the legal smoking age to 21 we can make California a healthier state.

Joy Jacks, Rosemead

Won’t make a difference

Age 21, 31, 41 — does it really make a difference in the long run? Tobacco is addictive and kills. Our enlightened youth has yet to understand that the human respiratory system was not designed to support nicotine and tar. That said, our spendthrift government might consider subsidizing the tobacco companies and have them ship large quantities of tobacco products to ISIS and al-Qaeda and then in a few years a good percentage of threats from lung cancerous terrorists would just die out. Literally!

Beverly Triggs, Granada Hills

A process of continuous improvement

Bruce  Baron

In drafting a response to Press-Enterprise reporter Mark Muckenfuss’ article, “Crafton Hills gets warning on status” [Feb. 11], it became very clear to me how little non-educators understand the accreditation process and how challenging it is to reduce any explanation of that process to 300 or 400 words for a news story.

Neither college in the San Bernardino Community College District “failed” its accreditation review and none of our communications with the media, in any way, suggested that they did.

Both Crafton Hills and San Bernardino Valley are in good standing with the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges, the arm of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges that oversees the accrediting process of the 112 California Community Colleges, which is authorized to operate by the U.S. Department of Education.

To clarify, both colleges are on “warning status” and the ACCJC has made specific recommendations that each school and the district need to address. We are to report our progress to the ACCJC by March 2016. This does not impact either school’s accreditation status. All credits and degrees earned by students retain their full accreditation status.

The ACCJC describes accreditation as “a voluntary system of self-regulation developed to evaluate overall educational quality and institutional effectiveness. The … process provides assurance to the public that the accredited member colleges meet the standards; the education earned at the institutions is of value to the student who earned it and employers, trade or profession-related licensing agencies, and other colleges and universities can accept a student’s credential as legitimate.”

Accreditation has four phases. First, the school conducts an internal evaluation, creating its report and collecting the supporting evidence using the 13 pages of ACCJC accreditation standards referred to above.

These are comprehensive, covering virtually every aspect of providing higher education programs and services to students. The reports generated by our colleges averaged 400 pages, plus hundreds of additional documents were supplied as supporting evidence. A college’s full accreditation review occurs at least every five to seven years, and usually a mid-cycle report must be prepared as well.

Next, the college hosts the “external evaluation by professional peers,” or team visit, for three to five days. From colleges around the region, the team members visually evaluate the campus, meet with administrators, students, faculty and staff, review the evidence provided and consider the district and college financial, technological, human and other available resources, comparing all their findings to the ACCJC standards. The ACCJC considers the reports when they evaluate a school’s status and make their accreditation decisions, which is the third step.

The ACCJC calls the fourth and most important step “the institutional self-improvement to meet evolving regional and federal standards.”

Colleges and the ACCJC are striving to provide students with the highest possible academic quality, and each college and the district uses the recommendations from the team report and the Commission decision to improve their institution in order to better serve students.

This ongoing, collaborative, supportive process shares the goal of implementing best practices in every aspect of operating a college in order to support student success, which is documented through

“completion of certificates and degrees and through student learning.”

The ACCJC has a range of sanctions available to it when a school does not comply with every standard, depending on the severity of the deficiencies, the college’s condition, its history of compliance and the impact of the noncompliance upon the quality and stability of the institution.

The ACCJC must terminate accreditation when an institution is determined to be out of compliance with eligibility requirements, accreditation standards and commission policies and fails to come into compliance within a two-year period.

The San Bernardino Community College District, Crafton Hills College and San Bernardino Valley College are proud of the work we do every day serving students.

The ACCJC findings indicate that there are some specific ways in which we can improve, and they want to evaluate our improvement by March 2016.

We do not downplay or take lightly any recommendation from the ACCJC and we look forward to having these issues satisfactorily resolved by this time next year.

Bruce Baron is chancellor of San Bernardino Community College District.

To ride on a street, yes, require wearing helmets

Cyclists, if we want to share the road as other vehicles, then we should follow all laws of the road. So yes, we should wear helmets, have insurance, stop at all stop signs, ride on the correct side of the road, stay off the sidewalks, and pay vehicle registration tax just like motorcyclists. Regarding when it should be required, the big deciding factor is whether we are on a public street. If we are on a bike path that is not part of a vehicle road, then it should be our choice. Also, the state should make a law that all cyclists should stay three feet away from all pedestrians — similar to the current law that motor vehicles must stay three feet away from bicyclists.

Steve Manookian Rowland Heights

 College education isn’t for everyone

In the 1970s, there were students who wanted to go to college, and students whose goals did not include college. College-bound students took college-prep classes, studied/learned lesson content, received units for each class completed, took SAT tests, received a high school diploma then applied to college. If our SAT scores, GPA and other factors were good enough, we were accepted to college. When we were in college, we studied/completed our work, accumulated our units and received our degrees. We had dreams and worked in school to achieve them. We didn’t need an exam in order to graduate from high school. Maybe money saved from testing can fund auto, wood or metal shops. Or the fundamentals of business or bookkeeping classes. Not all students are college-bound. Students need supportive teachers, parents, dreams and goals, not extra testing.

Thomas Muñoz, Ontario

Keystone pipeline project not in our best interest”

Hats off to Ellen Taylor and her League of Women Voters for taking a stand against the Keystone XL pipeline. Too many people ignored this horrendous problem and now it’s upon us. The Senate passed the pipeline by a 62-38 margin and it sits on President Obama’s desk. He will probably veto it and it will go back to the Senate for five more votes to override his veto. I’ve been following fracking lawsuits on the Internet and see fracking and the pipeline as the same problem. There are fracking suits in courts across the nation including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Texas, Wyoming, Ohio — everywhere there’s been fracking. Texas is the only lawsuit that has been decided. A couple in Denton was awarded a $3 million settlement when a multi-national oil company’s fracking destroyed the air and water on their farm. However, all these lawsuits will go away if the Trans-Pacific Partnership is passed as it is now. Like the North American Free Trade Agreement fast-tracked through Congress in 1992, the PTT contains a right-to-profits clause. If a party to this agreement engages in a profitable enterprise in the United States and it proves to be hazardous, against state or federal law, and the enterprise is stopped, the corporation has the right to sue for the profits they would have made. It’s a truly bizarre concept and one that conservatives tried to get into law for 25 years before succeeding with NAFTA. Keystone is a done deal. The president will veto it; it will go back to Congress where five obscure senators will change their vote from nay to yea and the pipeline will pass into law. After all, we have the greatest Congress money can buy. To avoid total catastrophe, contact your congressman about the PTT’s right-to-profits clause or we will be unable to sue corporations for damages or make them comply with any health and safety laws, environmental laws, or any law whatsoever. They will run wild.

Tom Freeman, Pinion Hills



iSeeIE Photo Series: Get out, see it, capture it!

Yazmin Alvarez

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Well here’s your chance!

I’ve compiled a few unique and not-to-miss events taking place in the next few days throughout the Inland Empire and a sneak peak into other happenings in the next weeks.

And if you’re feeling a little spontaneous behind the lens while you’re out, take a snapshot of something you did.. Did something catch your eye? Was there an unbelievable sunset? Did you spot a crazy looking critter or see the most adorable cat or dog?

The Inland Empire has so many places for great sceneries and there are so many opportunities and moments to capture out there and I want to see your photos! We all want to see your photos!

I’m starting a new photo series called iSeeIE and it’s all about what locals spy in the area.

See a llama downtown waiting outside of the pizza shop? A dog on it’s hind legs? A group of warbirds taking flight over the Inland sky?

Take a picture and send it over to me!

I’m not looking for selfies (unless it’s an “in the moment” photo of you with someone amazing like the photo of me with Lincoln on the front cover) or your outfit of the day, makeup of the day or throwback Thursday or whatever photo.

Besides, those aren’t fun. And not fun doesn’t win. That’s right. There’s a chance to win something here!

Depending on what I want to see, or ideas submitted, I may have a photo project/scavenger hunt involved. Probably something to do with food or cookies or cats… but that explanation will come each week.

From there, I’ll choose a photo from those submitted and I’ll publish it in the paper, online and on our Instagram page! The winner gets tickets, vouchers, coupons or whatever I can pull out of my hat, to something fun to do in the IE.

The point here—See it? Capture it. Now get out and explore!

For the time being, send photos over to my email: iecn.yazmin@gmail.com as I get things going for this series and tag your photos on our Instagram: @iecn_onthebeat. Use the hashtags #iSeeIE and #iecn for your photo to be featured. Who knows, you could have the winning shot! So what are you waiting for… get out and see the I.E!

And congrats to our first winner, C.J. Ellington. He snapped a photo of some eerie fog over the Mt View Ave. bridge in Loma Linda!

Thanks C.J!

C.J.’s photo can be seen in this week’s edition of the Inland Empire Weekly on page 2.

To kickstart the series, join the Redlands Area Historical Society as they host two walking tours Feb. 21 at 9 a.m. and March 7 at 9 a.m.

Part 1 of the Eureka Street walking tour begins Feb.21 at the corner of Eureka Street and West Palm Avenue. This first tour of Eureka will travel north to Fern Avenue and then return to West Palm Avenue. Fee is $10.

The homes on Part 1 were built in the 1950s in the 700 block and in the 1920s in the 600 block. The 700 block defines the 1950s with carports, cul-de-sacs and the California Ranch style. The 600 block captures the Dike and Logie Subdivision with monumental street decor, revival architecture, a few California bungalows and a street-tree theme of incense cedars.

The 500 block of Eureka has a designated historic district with the Garrett Huizing California bungalow homes. Cobblestone porch piers, rock garden features, open verandas, low roof lines, protruding rafters and ribbon driveways for the new auto machines adorn this unique neighborhood.

Redlands Area Historical Society membership forms and Historical Society publications are available at the end of the tours.


Cut ties with countries with inhumane policies

The latest violence — burning alive a human and releasing a video on the Internet as proof — is the last straw. We need to bring home our military personnel and government officials in those countries fighting each other under the pretense of religion. It is money they are fighting over! Bring the troops home and put them along our borders. No one enters except through the gate. This applies to Mexico as well. If the government can’t protect their people and the people won’t fight for their freedom, they’re on their own. Don’t come crying to us for our dreams — we fought for ours. Mexico’s government can’t find the people responsible for burning 43 students. Give me a break. We need to cut our ties with countries that deny basic human rights under the guise of religion (drugs in the case of Mexico). Even those we helped have warped values for their less fortunate. These countries destroy their children and the adults do nothing to protect them. We don’t have to pretend to be doing humanitarian services for them and buy their product, which we have enough of in our own country. When people are cutting off heads, burning each other, using children to kill, wrapping themselves with explosives, it’s time to cut them lose. I’m not condoning violence, I’m promoting staying away from it to protect our own.

Victor P. Lopez, San Bernardino

Eco-friendly Hawaii way ahead of California

We’re writing to commend the environmentally-caring people in Hawaii. We spent Christmas in Kona and were pleased to discover that, unlike the political/business wars occurring in California, Hawaii has taken the plastic-bag ban completely seriously. At the KTA Super Store in Keauhou, only paper bags are used and you are automatically charged 5 cents per bag, without the cashier even informing you. We’re not complaining; that’s fine with us; it seems to be ingrained in the island culture. And at Walmart they take it even further — there are no bags at all, either plastic or paper! You either bring your own cloth bags or you are informed that you can buy them for 50 cents each, or you can carry your stuff out in both arms (and we saw a bit of that). Advertisement Another forward-thinking step Hawaii has taken is the application of the sales tax to services, not just purchases. Again, Hawaii is ahead of California as we move increasingly to a service-based rather than consumption-based society. So Mahalo, Hawaii, for your help in protecting our Earth.

Wes and Patsy McDaniel, Banning

Big Tobacco wants to snuff out smoking age

he fact that Big Tobacco is in favor of keeping the status quo on age-related tobacco sales should tell us we should change it to 21. Big Tobacco is not interested in our health or that of our children — only the dotted line. And they know that the older one gets, the less likely they are to start smoking. I’m sure they will spend millions to defeat any law intended to keep kids from smoking — they always have. They have now settled on nanny laws and how they are interfering with our so-called freedoms. What about seat belts or clean eating establishments? We don’t hear them or others complaining about those laws. Frankly, I’d rather my grandchildren eat at a not-so-clean restaurant than be able to buy death-producing cigarettes at an earlier age. If I had my way, cigarettes would be sold only in the middle of a busy freeway during rush hour.

Patricia A. Haight, Pasadena

No shots, no public school

I feel that parents who choose not to vaccinate their children against childhood diseases are quite uninformed. Shame on the grandparents of these children for not stepping up to the plate and instructing their own children on the devastating effects diseases such as measles can have on a child and family. I remember polio was a dark cloud looming overhead for children every summer. My parents were scared. Many children contracted the disease over the vacation. To think that progress made during my lifetime to eradicate these horrors might be overturned makes me very angry. To the parents who don’t believe in vaccines: Fine, do as you wish, but find some alternative for your child’s education. Public schools are not for you.

Mary Jaramillo, Rialto

Journalism Today: How Easy Is It to Adapt to Modern Technology?

By Anthony Victoria

We are living in the modern age—an era that features digital media as the lifeblood of the world’s information. The introduction of digital media has put into question the effectiveness of traditional media. In a period where vital information can be easily disseminated through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, will there be space left for traditional media values?

Tom Watson described it powerfully in a recent Forbes Magazine article titled, Journalism is Changing from the Bottom Up:

“Journalism sits on the sea between two mighty winds: the collapse of old school economic models that made newspapers, magazines, and network news operations big-time profit centers – and the still-unfolding opportunity provided by the 20-year-old commercial Internet and its related technology.”

As we continuously see a decline in newspaper viewership, print advertising, and traditional media circulation, the emerging digital media technology that is being utilized by entrepreneurs, start-up companies, philanthropists, and innovators continues to take flight at an unprecedented pace. Meanwhile, newspapers (both small and large) continue to take a dramatic plunge in revenue. The American Enterprise Institute’s Carpe Diem blogger, Mark J. Perry found through research that print ads are at its lowest rate since 1950.

It sounds like a Social Revolution that can make the average person into a news editor or entrepreneur. Awesome right?

Not Exactly.

It turns out that digital ad dollars are not replacing the traditional print ads quick enough. Even worse, it seems that digital ad revenue is barely growing at all, according to Slate Magazine’s Jordan Weismann.

So what’s the big hype about digital media? Well for starters, it’s information delivered at a quicker rate. As consumers of information, we are able to receive digital articles that include social perspective. For example, an opinion-editorial written by a columnist or reporter that is posted on Facebook or Twitter can receive feedback within a few minutes, whereas the print version of the editorial will receive responses days, if not weeks later. Moreover, innovative news forums such as reported.ly, shareable.net, and the Public Insight Network provide journalists, editors, and publishers with new networks to share knowledge, create constructive conversations, and invite collaboration.

The downside of the digital realm is the lack of an adequate product—one that lacks the quality of traditional newspapers’ designs. Whereas print provided you with the organization of news sections through various topics and ensured the reader the freedom to browse at own will, various digital media websites constantly lose readers due to tendencies of bombarding readers with ads that overlap stories.

What’s the solution?

I’m no expert, but I would suggest prioritizing the wants and needs of the reader. To make money as publishers, managers, and editors, the future of the modern newspaper will have to ensure that followers of news content receive an appealing and enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, pretty soon people will no longer be receiving the paper every morning, opening it up and laying it out on the coffee table to explore the various sections page by page. Instead, at the demand of our fingers, we will have quick and ready information within minutes of a breaking event or issue.

The resurgence of the newspaper as a product will depend on our commitment of adapting to digital media and keeping the traditional values of accuracy, organization, and accessibility.

Anthony Victoria is a community writer for the Inland Empire Community Newspaper Group and can be reached at victoriaanthony91@gmail.com or (909) 381-9898 Ext. 208

Potholes around town more than just eyesores

San Bernardino has one venue where people come from out-of-town regularly: the soccer fields on Arden Avenue. What a nice venue! I’m sure the people who go there are appalled by the huge potholes up and down Arden Avenue in front of the fields. I imagine they say, “Yep, we must be in San Bernardino.” The holes get a tiny patch periodically, but one rain takes them out. What an appalling advertisement for our city!

Diana Gall, San Bernardino

Gay marriage rights and religious freedom

If we truly want to legalize gay marriage, we have first to have a secular country, which means it doesn’t rely upon religious principles. If you have a theocratic country, you would have so many problems with the people who don’t adopt the religion of the country. In order to have a free society all people must have equal rights, no matter what they believe. Also, even if the majority of people are against gay marriage, it should be legal because it’s wrong to ask straight people about the rights of gay people. To clarify: Imagine you live in a country where 90 percent of people are gay and 10 percent are straight. What would you think if you are straight and asked for your right to marry, then the justices said, we’re going to have a ballot, and based on what the majority think we will decide. How would you feel? Gay marriage is a civil right. Let people marry whomever they love, so we will not have the same high divorce rate we confront now because some homosexuals think there is something wrong with them, so they marry and then find out that they can’t stay in this marriage.

Ibrahim Alsuhayih, San Bernardino

Environmentalists and the state’s plastic-bag ban

I think it was the picture of a pelican with a plastic bag hanging around its neck that was the clincher for the environmentalists’ ability to shut down the plastic bag industry in California and put 4,000 people out of work. I’ve been to the beach many times in my 66 years and never seen a pelican with a plastic bag around its neck. The environmentalists claim that thousands of animals are injured or killed by plastic bags each year yet I’ve never witnessed one animal harmed by a plastic bag. They also claim it takes 100,000 years for a single plastic bag to decompose in our landfills when plastic bags haven’t been around that long. How do they know? How do they come up with these exaggerated numbers? It will take 100,000 years for California to recover from the economic damage these wacky environmentalists are perpetrating. It’s a great time to be an environmentalist with victory after victory. It’s a very bad time to maintain a business in California and an awful time to be a pelican.

Ray Moors, Chino

Mad about immigration situation? Blame Congress

President Obama is on the right track. Unfortunately, Republicans and Democrats won’t get on board. When the president offers a challenge regarding an issue, Congress contests it. I guess it’s easier to keep getting elected by doing nothing. Although he could have done more, making an executive decision on immigration is a move forward. The best thing would have been an executive order that current immigration policy be strictly enforced. It’s nearly 40 years old and never been used. Had the policy been enforced, we wouldn’t be talking about raising taxes. The billions and trillions spent on illegal immigrants the last 40 years should’ve been spent on American families. Since politicians aren’t doing the right thing regarding illegal immigrants, I agree with a strict and painful tax increase. Every politician from the local City Council to the president should be taxed a minimum of 50 percent of their wages. They are directly responsible for the mess our cities, counties, states and nation are in. They’ve done nothing to solve our immigration problem. They negotiated unsustainable pensions for public employees, approved ridiculous benefits for managers and administrators, including a car allowance when they are given a government car, Social Security benefits without contributing to Social Security and full pay for doing nothing. Here’s an out for the politicians’ tax burden: pass a law allowing your constituents to vote on giving you a tax break based on your performance.

Victor P. Lopez, San Bernardino

Finding love in February

By Yazmin Alvarez

Tired of coming home to an empty house, sitting single on your loveseat meant for two and spending the night alone?

Well, finding true love can be as easy as a shake of a tail or a rub on the leg.

That’s right, that pitter patter from the sound of four paws that sends your heart racing with joy is the kind of “fur”-ever love you need this season of swoon, and heading over to the local animal shelter and pet adoption events is what you need to do to find love or let love pick you.

A few adoption events are planned locally to help keep your options open.

San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control will host a seven day “Furever Yours Pet Adoption Event” at its shelters in Devore and Big Bear Feb. 8-14. The Animals Are First Fund, ARFF,, a local non-profit charitable organization that assists animals in County of San Bernardino Animal Shelters, will be paying for vaccination, spay/neuter fees for adopted pets.

The adoption fees for the week are $25 for dogs and $17 for cats, which includes a microchip for each pet. The fee does not include the cost of a dog license and there is a limit of two adoptions per family.

If the week comes and goes and no four-legged friend has stolen your heart, no problem. There’s still hope. In fact, Cupid will be in full action in Redlands on Valentine’s Day to help with your search.

The Redlands Animal Shelter, Redlands Friends of Shelter Animals, along with Stell’s Coffee & Tea Co., will hold a CaPOOCHino Day and Kitty Too Fundraiser and Adoption event on Valentine’s Day, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at 1580 Barton Road A, in the Brookside Plaza Shopping Center.

The Redlands Animal Shelter and REDlands Friends of Shelter Animals will be bringing adoptable dogs and cats to help them find a fur-ever home, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

In addition to the adoptions, Stell owners Robbie and Amy Stell will donate part of the proceeds from all cappuccino sales that day to benefit the Redlands Animal Shelter.

Now, if February comes and goes and cupid still hasn’t shot an arrow your way, don’t worry, there’s still another 10 months in the year to keep searching.

And to help nudge some prospects your way, The Redlands Animal Shelter and Redlands Friends of Shelter Animals are making a standing date with you the first Saturday of each month at Sylvan Park in Redlands to keep hope alive with, “Saturdays in the Park: Dog Walking and Cat Cuddling.”

Saturdays in the Park gives the adoptable pets at the Redlands Animal Shelter a chance to stretch their legs, go for a walk and receive love and attention outside the shelter setting. But most importantly, it gives those looking for fur-ever loves a chance to interact with the animals and maybe meet that perfect pet.

All animals at Saturday’s in the Park will be available for adoption.

For more information, contact the Redlands Animal Shelter at 909-798-7644 or REDFOSA at 909-334-2610 or visit http://cityofredlands.org/police/animalcontrol or www.REDFOSA.org.

The Devore Animal Shelter is located at 19777 Shelter Way in San Bernardino. The shelter is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control at 1-800-472-5609 or visit their website at www.sbcounty.gov/acc to see photographs of the animals awaiting adoption.

~ Yazmin Alvarez is a reporter with Inland Empire Community Newspapers and can be reached at iecn.yazmin@gmail.com.

Someone with ethics

Since Barbara Boxer is retiring from her Senate seat, about 14 candidates will be running. I would like to see someone with ethical values run. Looking at the past, there is a growing trend in the number of gifts given by powerful special-interest groups to California lawmakers. I feel that the voice of the ordinary citizen has all but disappeared. It doesn’t matter whether the donors are Democrats or Republicans; money becomes a political interest on its own. I also fear that equal pay, environmental and economic opportunity is routinely dismissed because corporate interests will oppose those measures. It seems that this is not about who has the best ideas in office, it is about who has the most money and gifts. Perhaps the newspaper can educate us to picking someone who is not supported by corporate interest?

John Winkler, San Pedro

Supporting Kamala Harris

At the moment, I’m tending to support Attorney General Kamala Harris for the Senate seat that Barbara Boxer will be leaving at the end of her term. I like the fact that Harris is familiar with both Northern and Southern California and is becoming better known throughout the state. Also in my sights is current U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, who has made a name for himself as someone willing to work across the aisle, and whose focus seems to be on serving the good of the greatest majority of his constituents. Under no circumstances would I ever vote for former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for any political office in California. He lost all my respect through his less than upstanding behavior during his previous years in office when he was primarily a glory-seeking publicity hound.

Ellie Doud, Sherman Oaks

Test would force students to learn nation’s ideals

Understanding America’s civic history is vital to our future if we are to preserve liberty and freedom. Alexander Hamilton said, “The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles.” And what are these principles in the United States? They are contained in our founding documents, what Abraham Lincoln called the “electric cord” binding us together: that all men are created equal and possess the rights of speech, religion, property and a government by consent. These values are what have made our nation the most powerful and prosperous on Earth. Our identity as a people is not based on geography or race, but on these timeless ideals. Requiring high school students to demonstrate a basic knowledge of our government as they prepare to fully participate in the civic life of our nation is a good idea.

Sen. Mike Morrell, Rancho Cucamonga

Give everyone the test

The question should be: “Why doesn’t every high school student in the United States have to pass this test to graduate?” It’s appalling how many young people know so little about their country and its form of government. Every test you ever took in school involved memorizing. This test is no different from the way we learned our times tables, addition and subtraction, spelling, etc. Based on the number of grammatical errors in your publications, it seems that maybe too many of you weren’t required to memorize much. Yes, memorize things and you will know more than you did before. It’s time young people demonstrate some knowledge about the society they live in. This isn’t rocket science, and it discriminates against no one. Any immigrant, legal or otherwise, has to pass this test to become a citizen. Is it too much to ask that our own kids know as much about their own country? Stop being apologists for people looking for any excuse to avoid learning their civic responsibilities.

Don Handley, Sierra Madre

Good idea, Arizona

What a great idea! Jay Leno once asked “the man on the street” (college age) civics questions and most of them had not the slightest idea who or what was the correct answer. The younger generation is growing up without the knowledge of how this country was founded, not to mention the lives lost in forming the union. A lot has changed since its founding, which is all the more reason that young folks need to know about our government. Over 60 years ago, we were taught civics. It was a good idea then and still is! Good for Arizona.

Edward Beauchamp, Lakewood

San Bernardino needs constructive community input

The residents of San Bernardino have been disappointed time and time again by the actions of our elected officials.

However, I believe it is time we stop placing the blame on councilmembers and the Mayor and begin to take critical action to ensure our city gets out of bankruptcy.

The city announced earlier this month that they will be initiating a bankruptcy exit plan that will seek community input from residents, community organizers, and business owners. It is important that residents continue to hold elected officials accountable, not by insulting them during meetings or on social media websites, but by planning ahead, doing research, and asking vital questions that will formulate constructive and critical debates.

Despite the general positions made by residents that San Bernardino’s city officials are neglectful of the public voice, measurable decisions have been made recently to ensure community engagement takes place.

For example, the San Bernardino Unified School District contacted the city to offer its facilities and resources for the effort. Board president Michael Gallo said the district has the ability to contact over 50,000 students (90 percent live in the city of San Bernardino). While it is uncertain how many of those students will be interested in engaging in the strategic planning process, the district’s idea is rooted in the right place.

Some groups who are likely to seize the opportunity to engage in critical dialogue are the Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC), whose number one priority in San Bernardino is to reduce crime and prevent violence among youth, and the Time for Change Foundation (TFCF), an organization that strives to help women transition from prison or drug addiction into steady careers and healthy lifestyles. Both groups have had respectful, and even successful dialogue with the school district before and are anxious to transform the city’s social order.

San Bernardino Generation Now, a group that takes pride in the restoration of parks and for motivating young high school students to register to vote, may also look to be involved in the community engagement process. One of its former members, Richard Tejada, currently works as an aide to the Mayor. It will be interesting to see if like Tejada, they can step into more political and arduous tasks. They have the numbers; the question is do they have the passion or the motivation to challenge city hall?

Most importantly however, the homeowners (or former owners)—the people who were tricked into signing contracts they didn’t understand by deceitful brokers and had to file for foreclosures should be at the forefront of the conversation. They have lost it all. They are the residents who have floated in and out of unemployment. Moreover they are the residents who have lost most of their faith in San Bernardino. Our biggest task as professionals, community organizers, city officials, and civilized residents is to try to spark the motivation of the working and middle class; to try to help them understand that without their help, we will continue to struggle through fiscally hard times.

We can continue to attend city council meetings and express our frustrations into the wind, or we can take a little time to do our research, ask insightful questions, and communicate respectfully with our city’s leaders.

There should be no ego, just healthy debate that will get San Bernardino back on its feet.

Anthony Victoria is a community writer for the Inland Empire Community Newspaper Group and can be reached at avictoria@iecn.com or at (909) 381-9898 Ext. 208

Free community college not a waste of money

Re: “State of the Union: not so ready to compromise” (Editorial, Jan. 22). I disagree with the assertions made in your editorial that the cost of making community college free, as President Obama has detailed, “would be huge” and that “much of the money would be wasted on people who don’t want to be there.” In terms of community college students, I’ve been associated with the California community college system in one capacity or another for over 40 years and our students are hard-working, ambitious people who know that community college is the first step in allowing them to achieve the American Dream. To characterize them as other than what they are is both false and pernicious. In terms of cost, the total cost for this program would be $6 billion per year, which is one-fifth of 1 percent of the total federal budget, or about what we spent for one week in Iraq. The program will pay for itself, as the total cost of $7,600 per student over two years will be repaid eight times over in $67,000 worth of taxes from $259,000 in increased lifetime earnings, a 782 percent return in investment. The program is already paid for in that President Obama’s 2011 student loan program will repay $68 billion over a 10-year period and this proposal will cost $60 billion.

Donald L. Singer,

Redlands Board of trustees member San Bernardino Community College District

Housing programs help homeless population

As a volunteer in a housing for homeless organization, I’m pleased to see San Bernardino County collaborate with community-based organizations to provide housing for the homeless population. Many organizations have adopted the “Housing First” model, promoted by the National Alliance to End Homeless. Having the stability of a permanent home is often the springboard into reintegrating into society, finding work and starting a new life. Advertisement Another beneficial program to help prevent homelessness is Rapid Re-Housing, which provides individuals and families with temporary financial assistance to pay for rent. Often what causes homelessness can be an unexpected, expensive car repair or medical bill; causing some people to choose between paying rent and securing transportation to work. These programs coupled with services, including job training, financial planning and mental health services, can help the homeless population achieve stability and self-sufficiency and remain in their homes.

Erica Youngblood, Chino Hills

Illegal immigrants must go to back of line

Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democrats are allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses even though they are law-breakers. It’s caused a tremendous burden on the Department of Motor Vehicles and an extremely long waiting time for DMV services. Additional employees have been hired and business hours increased to accommodate this. This is also a burden on the California taxpayers. The DMV should do what Obama proposed regarding his amnesty plan for illegal immigrants. He said any illegal applying for legal status must go to the back of the line behind those who have done things legally and properly. Makes sense. It would ease the inconvenience for legal citizens doing business at the DMV. DMV should require illegal immigrants go to the back of the line and legal citizens go ahead of them.

Dave Van Buren, Highland

2015 State of the Union Recap: President touts “middle-class economics”

Yazmin Alvarez

There are a few topics I don’t necessarily touch on or feel the need to spark a conversation about: politics, religion and money.

The way I see it, to each is their own.

But it’s only fitting that I bring up President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address.

Tuesday night, he delivered his sixth address and I’m positive there’s plenty that people will be debating about.

But not here.

I’m simply going to recap his prepared remarks for those who didn’t catch the SOTU. In fact, for those interested, they can head over to www.whitehouse.gov and watch the hour-long address.

A few things he touted, “middle-class economics,” and how Americans have rebounded after the worst economic crisis, proposals to offer new child tax credits, raise the minimum wage, extend paid family leave and make college more affordable.

“It has been, and still is, a hard time for many,” President Obama said. “But tonight, we turn the page.”

A post on NPR.org—State Of The Union Primer: What President Obama Proposed— Wednesday morning following the address helps recap “middle-class economics”:

“Obama’s budget proposal will call for a number of new and expanded tax credits to help working families. He also wants Congress to require paid sick leave for the 43 million American workers who don’t already have it. And because many jobs now require some form of higher education, Obama wants to let anyone attend community college for free, so long as they keep their grades up and graduate on time.

The president suggests paying for these proposals by raising the top tax rate on capital gains to 28 percent, and extending it to cover inherited wealth. The White House says 99 percent of the additional taxes would be paid by the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans…”

In response to President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address, Representative Pete Aguilar, who was joined by Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson for the State of the Union address, released the following statement:

“While I agree with President Obama that we have made progress getting the nation’s economy back on track, the Inland Empire still has a long road toward economic recovery. As San Bernardino County families continue struggling to make ends meet, we need policies that create jobs, strengthen the region’s economy, and make sure families can keep more of their hard-earned money.

“That’s why I applaud President Obama’s proposals to make the economy fairer for middle class families by raising the federal minimum wage and making the tax code more fair for middle class and low-income families – proposals that will put more money in the pockets of hard-working Inland Empire residents.

“For too many families, the cost of pursuing higher education is a major obstacle to achieving the American Dream. That’s why I strongly support the President’s proposal to offer two years of free community college. This proposal will enable thousands of local students to achieve their dreams and increase the educational attainment of our region. I look forward to working to make this initiative a reality.”

A video, along with remarks by the President of the 2015 State of the Union delivered Jan. 20 can be viewed at www.whitehouse.gov.

~ Yazmin Alvarez is a reporter with Inland Empire Community Newspapers and can be reached at iecn.yazmin@gmail.com.

Freedom of speech sometimes silenced

We can be thankful that our government doesn’t deny us freedom of expression. Nevertheless, there are plenty of self-appointed commissars among us who consider it their mission to be the judge of what is allowed to be discussed and what is not. The sad result is that anyone who questions, for example, our nation’s prevalent religion or who dares to point out the moral blemishes that have tarnished our history is immediately silenced. A personal example: For years I belonged to an amateur writers’ group — until one day when I presented an essay with a secular theme, and was unceremoniously invited to leave. Later, when I joined another writers’ group, their teacher cautioned me not to present anything that reflects secularism, or is in any way critical of religion or of its leaders. I noticed, however, that several other writers in the group regularly presented essays extolling their Christian faith with nary an objection, but plenty of praise. I was dumfounded! This, in an organization of creative writers? This, in a country whose laws protect freedom of expression?

David Quintero, Monrovia

Keystone XL pipeline will create few jobs

Perpetuation of ignorance? I know the newspaper has to take all kinds of opinions, but there should be a reality check somewhere. And while I know the election loss of the Tea Party to Congressman Pete Aguilar still stings, it shouldn’t blind them to the facts: At most, building the pipeline will add 2,000 construction jobs for the short time it is being built, but no more than 50 after that (none of which in our area, by the way), and the only oil that we would be guaranteed to be able to have in the United States is that which potentially leaks from the pipeline once it is built. It is specifically going to shorten the route from Canada, which will obviously benefit, to the ships taking it to the OPEC countries who sell it to the world and thus benefit, but no impact on jobs in our area and no impact on the price of gas. Let’s have honest dialogue on these important issues.

Bud Weisbart, Fontana

Have those ‘difficult conversations’

Jamie Foxx and all the other publicity-seeking celebrities who want to have the “difficult conversations” about police shootings need to have those “difficult conversations” in the black communities and leave the rest of us alone, until it is fixed where it is “broken,” in the black neighborhoods. Fix the situations through truth, ethics, attitude and pure, simple honesty. Have that “difficult conversation” with those blacks with “attitude,” blaming others while they choose a life of crime and shame instead of education. All of you actors and entertainers need to go to your black inner city communities and get down and real and put the blame and responsibility where it belongs, on very bad choices in life. Stop the blame game. Stop attacking white people, successful people, educated people and yes, the rich. There is plenty of creativity, money and hard work and dedication to go around. Join, don’t destroy, the successful. Why don’t all of you rich celebrities go to Ferguson right now and help all of the innocent store owners who lost everything in the aftermath of the “angry” outside agitators.

Carol Schlaepfer, Pomona

Freedom of speech is a truly enigmatic question

I don’t think free expression is the problem. Interpretation is. Information can be changed, paraphrased or misquoted on purpose to get the public to believe anything. Politicians do it all the time. They don’t directly answer a question but rather verbally roam around their answer making you think they said something they didn’t. In the case of the concern in France the intent of the messages was to be of humor but that is not the interpretation as seen by the Islamic world. This says that free expression isn’t really free. By your own admission on the Opinion page: “We welcome letters on all issues of public concern. All are subject to editing and condensation and they can be published only with the writer’s true name.” Some of my letters have been edited and condensed resulting in loss of my true meaning. In the art world, putting obscene and pornographic pictures and videos out to the public is a right, albeit not politically correct. There is a big fear of expressing oneself when criticizing government leaders and procedures — fear of being labeled as subversive. On the job we are told to not express some thoughts as being cause for trouble-making. The right of free speech is enigmatic — some subjects acceptable in some areas and frowned upon in others. I feel free to express myself but I also realize I have to accept what the listener thinks that is. I think the question to ask is, What is free expression?

Sally Wieck, Baldwin Park



Can Community College Systems and Infrastructure Handle Free Tuition?

Rachel Kanakaole

The conversation President Obama’s domestic policy chief, Cecilia Munoz, is referring to is one that we are all familiar with: access to quality education. This extended conversation, which continued today with the president’s speech at Pellissippi Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, includes President Obama’s new proposal to make the first two years of community college completely free for students looking to transfer, or to get an associates degree or technical job training.

The president’s proposal, America’s College Promise, is looking to build a shared responsibility between the federal government, states, colleges. and students across the country to reexamine and reinvest in our education systems. Modeled after similar plans currently being adopted by states such as Tennessee, community colleges offering programs that fully transfer, or provide a degree or job training would be eligible for funding from the federal government to help make tuition free for students. The program would apply to half- and full-time students who maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA and make “steady progress” towards their goals. What exactly “steady progress” means remains to be clearly defined, along with many other details, such as where the federal funding will come from. President Obama says he will release those details in his State of the Union address on January 20.

Even without all of the specifics, I can say that as a current community college student, access to and affordability of classes is crucial in determining whether or not I will graduate in a timely manner. However, it is not solely lack of money that hinders us students from being able to complete a program in two years, but a combination of multiple infrastructural issues such as course offerings, classroom space, and most importantly, proper guidance to navigate the complex systems that are the basis of the college itself. America’s College Promise is not only aiming to provide the always-needed financial assistance, but also requiring colleges to adopt “promising and evidence-based institutional reforms to improve student outcomes,” such as the successful Accelerated Student in Associates Program (ASAP) at the City University of New York. Programs such as ASAP provide much needed resources such as guidance, counseling, and schedule planning, which are all crucial components to graduating on time.

The Obama administration believes adopting research-backed programs, like ASAP, nationwide, will provide students with the additional help needed to successfully complete their education in two years. While in theory, the blanket adoption of specific programs such as these would benefit some students in some states, it most likely would not benefit all students in all states. Take my campus, San Bernardino Valley College, which is located in the bankrupt city of San Bernardino in Southern California. What works for the population in Knoxville, Tennessee will not necessarily address the needs of students 2,000 miles across the country that are from very different economic, social, and cultural backgrounds. It could also add extra pressure on already stressed community college systems by forcing college administrators, faculty members, and students to learn and navigate yet another assistance program on campus. It seems redundant to force a community college that already has counseling services, academic advisors, and multiple assistance programs of their own to adopt additional programs, instead of encouraging better technical and skills training for those already employed on their campuses in areas such as counseling, advising, and educational planning. Many schools already provide the pathways for that type of guidance and counseling to occur, they just need to be reexamined and reinvigorated instead of ignored and replaced.

Another major question this proposal brings up is one of capacity. Again, using my community college as an example, with close to 13,000 students enrolled full-time, classroom space is already extremely limited, financially and physically. Schools would be pressured to create additional course offerings to accomodate higher enrollment, which is already an issue colleges across the country have had great difficulty with.

So, can America’s College Promise truly be fulfilled? I believe so, but not until a few critical components are reexamined and rewritten. The intention is there, but thankfully this is not a final proposal and is continuing to undergo development.

Rachel Kanakaole is the Chapter Head of the San Bernardino Valley Community College chapter of the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network and one of the New Chapters Coordinator for the Western Region.

Original publication credit to the Next New Deal: The Blog of the Roosevelt Institute

Remember God’s Prophetic Messages for which America’s Future Hangs?

Jesus through God said “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and prophesies. To me, this capsulizes much of what is expected of those who profess to be Christians. Some of the superfluous tangents we sometimes pursue are unbelievably unproductive. When the idolatries of such things as putting 1) money, 2) reputation and world renown, 3) selfishness and ease, 4) jealousy and envy, instead of taking responsibility for others (as we can) and for oneself and our actions; we are not following God and his first two commandments. And always remember, vengeance is only God and the Lord’s domain. Dignity and respect are words only, but they need to be followed by positive actions and words of all concerned. In my 76-1/2 years of living I have truly found it is more blessed to give and more rewarding than to receive. The carnal world of ego, vanity, false pride and foolishness, is far from the spiritual world. Righteousness (not self-righteousness) is the goal in dealings with others. Truth is the one thing that is a sure way to complete justice. If all of us could put others needs ahead of our own selfish and ulterior purposes, this world would be a better place to live in. I can’t help but think when God gave us his ten commandments through Moses, he was directing them to all earthly beings-not just a chosen few. Certainly Jesus talked in his Sermon on the Mount about “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, he was talking to the whole world. Far too many people in this world do not practice any of these sage teachings from the Almighty. Some secular-leaning human beings would say what I just said is just religious dogma. But to me it is just common sense before the harbinger comes true. For some it is hard to envision a God we cannot meet or see. Complete faith is hard at times; however, in my opinion, the secular world and the United States of America, in particular, could use some religious common sense.

John H. Peterson, Life-long Advocate of Racial and Cultural Harmony

San Bernardino

Re: “City Council Votes to Uphold Planning Commission’s Decision of Denying Largo CUP Permit”

I can’t understand the city council of Colton. It seems to me that they are aiming at the white race as to not putting in good companies and jobs to all of Colton, as was said at the last council meeting. They need only Latinos in this city? Well I have been here many years and thought it didn’t matter if I am white. I worked in the city and had a non-profit group of friends who helped out the south-side of Colton. No one complained about my race then but I guess with all the problems in MO, and LA, I should worry now. What a shame. Thank you Colton for waking me up.

Cindy Carrion, Colton, CA

Re: “Vibe Fitness owner strives to build healthy community”

I joined Gino’s boot camp in July last year. I have improved in many areas of strength and endurance. When I started I couldn’t do one push-up. I am doing 50 a day now. I lacked confidence in box jumps and this week I jumped more and higher then I ever thought I could. I started out dead lifting 30-35lbs and the other day I did sets of ten at 85lbs. I am growing in lean muscle and in confidence. THANKS GINO!

Whitney Shepherd, Bloomington, CA


2015: 900-plus new laws for California

By Yazmin Alvarez

California, The Golden State, and now home to more than 900 new laws for 2015—930 to be exact.

Some are obviously needed, while others could have people raising eyebrows.

Most of the laws took effect Jan. 1, but others don’t kick in until July.

Among one of the quirky ones includes recognizing an official state amphibian- the California Red-Legged Frog. Yes, that correct, a state frog. While a state frog croaks me up, I’m okay with it because he’s kind of cute, just look him up. Plus, it’s recognized by the federal government as a “threatened” species. So, save the frogs!

Now, let’s get into a few of the more serious ones.

Information about the new laws was collected from various published articles, including a Dec. 26 web article published by SF Gate Staff Writer Melody Gutierrez, a Jan. 6 web article published by Tauhid Chappell, Walt Gray of News10 ABC, a Jan. 1 web article published by Patrick McGreevy of the LA Times and a Jan. 1 article published by Chris Nichols of the UT San Diego.

Youth football practice: With the intent to reduce concussions and other brain injuries, AB 2127 limits middle school and high school students to 90 minutes of full-contact football drills twice per week. The law also bans full-contact practice during the off-season and requires the California Interscholastic Federation to create a protocol for an athlete who suffers a concussion.

New consent law for sexual activity: Colleges and universities in California will be required to adopt policies against sexual assault that radically rewrite what constitutes consent as a condition of receiving state financial aid. Under the new law, the standard for consent to sexual activity in campus judicial hearings shifts from whether a person said “no” to whether both partners said “yes.” The law only applies to the burden of proof used during campus disciplinary hearings, not criminal proceedings.

Toy guns must be colorful: The new law requires toy manufacturers to make plastic guns in bright colors so law enforcement can distinguish between toy firearms and real ones.

“Selfie” protections: Revenge will come at a price for those who post private naked photos or videos of someone without his or her consent. The new law extends privacy protections to all individuals who take nude “selfies” intended to be private. A law passed last year to offer “revenge porn” protections did not include selfies. Anyone who violates the new law by disseminating a protected image could be charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.

In July, a second “revenge porn” law will allow a person whose naked image was shared online without his or her consent to file a civil suit for monetary damages against the perpetrator under a pseudonym in court.

Or, you can just keep things simple and keep your clothes on for photos. Just a thought.

New rules for student expulsions: Public schools can no longer expel students for defying teachers or administrators

That’s right, there is no typo there.

A student can no longer be expelled for willfully defying teachers or administrators at any level. And, if a student is in grade K-3, schools cannot suspend them student for misbehaving.

I’d like to hear what some teachers have to say about this new law.

So how much leeway do students have now before getting expelled? Well, if they pose a certain danger to other students, such as talking about violence, drug use, among a few.

One law still up in the air is the ban on plastic bags.

Opponents of the law have submitted signatures to place a referendum on the 2016 ballot. If enough signatures are deemed valid, the law will be suspended until an electoral vote.

Joan Williams snubbed again, this time by TV

While I watched the Rose Parade, I kept waiting to hear the story about Joan Williams. I always enjoy the informative commentary about each group and float. Alas, nary a word about Williams nor the reason she was on the float almost 60 years later than she should have been. Shame on the producers for not including her story. This wrong was not truly made right; it was made only half right.

Susan Marquez, Fontana

Tragic shooting of mother not the child’s fault

The death of 29-year-old Veronica Rutledge, the woman who was accidentally shot and killed at a Wal-Mart in Idaho by means of a concealed handgun when her 2-year-old son unzipped the handgun pouch, aimed at her, and pulled the trigger, is a case of “people don’t kill people, guns kill people.” Of course, this small child cannot be blamed for his mother’s death. He witnessed the adults around him using handguns all the time and he probably also saw her place her gun in her purse and zip the pouch closed. When she left him in her shopping cart with the purse, he was curious to imitate the actions of the adults, and so pulled out the gun and fired. Unfortunately, for the child and Rutledge, he aimed at her head and the gun killed her. The grandfather is correct; the child is not to blame. Nevertheless, his mother is dead because she was carrying a concealed weapon on that shopping trip with her son.

Leslie Soltz, Highland

Technology producing a decline in critical thinking

Over the past century, the number of hours college students spend studying has declined sharply. Meanwhile, most Americans, no matter their age, spend at least eight hours a day watching TV, a computer monitor or the screen of their mobile phone. In general, people are reading print less, including newspapers, magazines and books. Most youngsters read printed words only about seven minutes per day. College students admitted they didn’t know how to study. Little wonder considering they no longer read. They have grown up in the age of skimming — cursory reading, glancing at words and pictures on screens. They do their thinking with the TV on and perform a quick Google search while texting friends. The media revolution has rewired our brains to think and react purely on superficial levels. We are losing our capacity for deep thought.

George Campos, Ontario

Some historical facts misrepresented in ‘Selma’

How would the NAACP, Rep. John Lewis and the others defending the movie “Selma” react if it was Dr. King who wasn’t getting the credit he deserves? They would be justifiably angry not excusing it because it’s a drama not a documentary. While Dr. King was the face and leader of the civil rights movement in America in the 1960s, it was President Johnson who got what he was striving for turned into law. LBJ started well before Selma even though he knew what it was going to cost his party — losses it still suffers. Dr. King understood we are all in this together and denigrating the efforts of one to enhance the role of another does neither justice. It is doubtful he would be happy with this movie. Ava DuVernay, the director of “Selma,” told Rolling Stone magazine, “Every filmmaker imbues a movie with their own point of view. The script was the LBJ/King thing, but originally, it was much more slanted to Johnson. I wasn’t interested in making a white-savior movie … .” Her comment shows bias is an equal opportunity failing. With the racial tensions that still exist we didn’t need a movie about a “savior” — black or white — we need one that presents the facts. Those who lived through that period are a minority, one getting smaller every day. The misrepresentation of the role LBJ and other whites played just gives those unaware of the truth one more reason to be mad and there is too much anger already.

Chris Daly, Yucaipa

Taking issue with Claremont Nativity display

Once again, I have to disagree with Claremont United Methodist Church’s Nativity scene. Mary, Joseph and Jesus weren’t homeless, refugees or migrants. They were traveling because Caesar Augustus ordered a census be taken. Joseph, being of the line of King David, was required to return to his ancestral home of Bethlehem to be counted. The reason Jesus was born in a manger was because the inn was full, a kind person offered their manger due to Jesus’s imminent birth. Please note, this is not to take away from the humbleness of the situation and location of Jesus’s birth. A modern version might be: Joseph, being a carpenter, is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to attend a safety seminar. However, when he and Mary arrive, they find all the hotels full. A kind local citizen offers his garage, or shed as shelter, where Jesus is born. As for David Allen’s idea of depicting the Holy Family and the Wise Men with their hands up, maybe instead, they could show the shepherds standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their staffs in hand ready to protect the Holy Family!

Derek Deason, Fontana

An Academic Overview: Existentialism and Its Relevance to Social Revolution (part two)

Anthony Victoria

In contrast to the fervent call to action put forth by the proletariat Marxists of the third world, Albert Camus found his meaning through a more extensive existentialist approach.

The renowned journalist, novelist, and philosopher remained a freelancer (both in profession and in thinking) in a time when many stood on the sides of either capitalism or socialism.

Camus was not one to shy away from formal criticism however. These are his writings about the Bandung group:

“The nations of the Bandung group could have saved a great European nation from slavery and death…But the Bandung group rapidly became realistic. Apparently it is easy to become an adult in History. Consequently, those nations must henceforth be judged as adults, on the basis of their deeds, without any indulgence. And their attitude towards the Hungarian massacre is inexcusable.”

Criticizing newly formed nation-states such as India and the Arab countries of turning the other cheek and not recognizing Soviet imperial aggression in Hungary, Camus critically points out that even those that claimed to be “neutral” during the Cold War had no interest in gaining true world peace.

Furthermore, Camus in his other essay, Create Dangerously pinpoints the very basis of his doctrine: “Every great work makes the human face more admirable and richer, and that is its whole secret.” Or take his excerpt from The Wager of Our Generation: “Every work presupposes a content of reality and a creator who shapes the container. Consequently, the artist, if he must share the misfortune of his time, must also tear himself away in order to consider that misfortune and give it form.”

Although he insisted he was not a philosopher, Camus often delved deep into overarching themes that not only presented socioeconomic issues in foreign policy, but the questions of the individual mind—the questions of freedom of expression, thought, and art. In the literal sense, to make art or to write in opposition of the status quo in many of the aforementioned powerful nation states meant to create dangerously.

Affluent attitudes had a stranglehold on the United States in the mid-Twentieth century and Baldwin, the novelist, essayist, and poet hit a hidden chord in the hearts and minds of Americans. In The Fire Next Time Baldwin’s literature does not focus on the specific policies or political factions of the time, but instead aims to address the need for both African Americans and White Americans to need each other.

“Something very sinister happens to the people of a country when they begin to distrust their own reactions as deeply as they do here, and become as joyless as they have become. It is this individual uncertainty on the part of white American men and women, this inability to renew themselves at the fountain of their own lives, that makes the discussion, let alone education, of any conundrum—-that is, in any reality—so supremely difficult. The person who distrusts himself has no touchstone for reality—-for this touchstone can be only oneself…Therefore, whatever white people do not know about Negroes reveals, precisely and inexorably, what they do not know about themselves”.

The rewards of being a superpower meant that many white Americans had the privilege of owning a television set, a fancy car or a house, but for the people of color in the United States, sitting in the same diner or attending a University was still a distant reality. As Baldwin argues, people are not rushed to be equal to one another but they have the desire to want to be superior. As we analyze his essay today and make comparisons to present issues, one can reflect on his existentialist views. As he would say, privately we cannot stand our lives and we dare not examine them.

Additionally, our power and fear of change will bind people to the misery they cannot adjust to and hinder revolution. It is important then to understand Baldwin’s writings as a challenge to both the status quo and the people: to accept yourself for who you are can transform the very foundations of Western civilization and provide yourself the individual right to questions society’s foundations. ‘

Written for Professor Lloyd, History Professor at the University of California, Riverside.

Dear Future Leader and Supporters

Nothing brings me greater satisfaction than learning of your accomplishments. Your successes make all our years of effort worthwhile. We conclude the year by already planning for next summer’s program, our 31st summer leadership conference. We also bring the year to a close with a keen understanding of the funds necessary to deliver our program, and that is my main reason for writing to you today. I am tremendously grateful to our 100% volunteer staff, but, unfortunately, while they save us thousands of dollars, there are many needed services that cannot be taken care of through volunteer effort. For example, rent for next summer’s campsite is expected to cost us over $40,000, and buses will cost over $8,000. I am hoping the end of 2014 finds you in a position to make a donation, an investment in the program that made such a wonderful impact on your own life. Please know that we strive to bring honor to the sacrifices made by our staff and donors by making sure that we are good stewards of the monies donated to us. Every dollar, every single penny, goes directly to making our program possible. Your contribution is key to our ability to do that. I ask for your help to touch the lives of young people as we touched yours. You may send your contribution: INLAND EMPIRE FUTURE LEADERS PROGRAM C/O MICHAEL MONTAÑO CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER 6378 ANGELS PEAK DRIVE SAN BERNARDINO, CA 92407 IRS 501(c)(3) ID Number is #33-042-7435 I wish all of you continued success and much happiness throughout the new year. And, as always, I hope you will continue to share your good news with us. I genuinely enjoy hearing from former Future Leaders.

Dr. Tom

It’s not just for fun

The Internet is an enormous boon to society. Getting rid of it would be disastrous and radically slow down new ideas, innovations and scientific advancements. Those who think it’s just a way to retrieve football scores or find restaurants rapidly are not aware of its full capacity. Thousands of classical philosophy books and fiction are now online through Project Gutenberg. Millions of books are regularly downloaded from the library for e-readers. These are just the simpler uses. Every university encourages Internet research. For example, Pollak Library at Cal State Fullerton has thousands of scientific and educational journals online, available for rapid research. The data available for students to search is beyond the capacity of most physical libraries. With the click of the mouse, students and researchers can find articles at their fingertips from universities around the world. The Internet is the world’s largest library, communication system and encyclopedia rolled into one. In the future, we will become even more connected to what it offers. Our lives are impacted daily by the Internet by those providing services, from fire and police to city planners.

Bonnie Shirley Whittier

Movie studio should have used a fictitious country

As Americans, we value our rights to freedom of speech. But as Americans, we know that constitutional rights also require responsibility. No one denies Sony Pictures and the filmmakers their right to make the satirical film. But during the process in which the film was vetted and decisions to invest millions of dollars were made, did anyone question what was being done? As a responsible member of the global community, why make a satirical film about an existing country and assassinating an existing leader? Wouldn’t it have been better to have a fictitious Asian nation with a fictitious leader? People are intelligent and insightful enough to recognize satire and the unspoken. The beauty of using a fictitious country is that North Korea would have also identified itself and the filmmaker’s message would have been made. Moreover, if North Korea complained that it was the fictitious country, it would be publicly admitting its human rights violations and paranoia.

Gary L. Murph Bellflower

Sony had no other option

“The Interview” stirs up controversy as it reveals the entirety of many Hollywood films today: ludicrous, impractical and superficial. The trailer depicts a celebrity talk-show host accepting a CIA mission of traveling to North Korea to assassinate Kim Jong Un, illustrated in the movie as the foolish and ignorant North Korean dictator. Sony Pictures had no other option but to cancel the release when their networking systems were hacked and North Korea threatened to launch a 9/11-style attack on theaters in the United States if the movie failed to be pulled from cinemas across the country. Many critics commented that the movie’s cancellation assaults our freedom-of-speech rights. Nonsense. Despite America’s exercise to free speech being inhibited, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take the threats seriously.

Amanda Qiu Arcadia


New laws for employers in 2015  

Yazmin Alvarez

With the Christmas holiday now in the past and plans stirring on how to ring in the new year, many also should be preparing to implement policies to comply with a number of new California laws expected to go into effect in 2015, especially employers.

The new laws cover a range of points in employment, including wage and hour issues, paid sick leave and discrimination.

While a list of new laws are also coming to residents, employers should take time and review their current policies to ensure compliance for the new year, according to The California Chamber of Commerce.

Below is a brief overview from a Dec. 2 publication of The National Law Review and The California Chamber of Commerce of a few of most notable new laws affecting businesses in California. For a complete list of the policies taking effect visit, natlawreview.com or calchamber.com

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

– AB 1522 – The “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014” requires California employers to provide paid sick leave benefits to their employees, including all full-time, part-time, temporary, migrant and seasonal employees. Employers must provide paid sick leave to these employees if they work 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment. Under the new law, employees are entitled to accrue paid sick days at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked. Employers may limit the employee’s annual use of paid sick leave benefits to 24 hours or 3 days per year, and cap the accrual of paid sick leave to 48 hours or 6 days per year.

Expanded Coverage for Emergency Duty Leave

– AB 2536 – California protects employees from discipline or discharge for taking time off for performing emergency services as volunteer firefighters, reserve peace officers or emergency rescue personnel. However, the state previously limited the definition of “emergency rescue personnel” to those providing emergency services in government agencies, sheriff’s departments, police departments or private fire departments. The new law now expands the definition of “emergency rescue personnel” to include those providing emergency services as part of a disaster medical response entity sponsored or requested by the state.

New Statute of Limitations for Liquidated Damages for Failure to Pay Minimum Wage

– AB 2074 – Previous law required that a lawsuit to recover liquidated damages for minimum wage violations under California Labor Code § 1194.2 be filed within one year of the alleged violation. The new law amends Section 1194.2 to extend the statute of limitations period to three years.

Nondiscrimination: Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Persons

– AB 1660 makes it a violation of FEHA for an employer to discriminate against an individual because he/she holds or presents a driver’s license issued to undocumented persons who can submit satisfactory proof of identity and California residency. Such discriminatory actions will constitute national origin discrimination under FEHA.

These driver’s licenses are often referred to as “AB 60 driver’s licenses,” after the name of the bill passed last year.

AB 60 driver’s licenses are scheduled to start being issued on January 1, 2015.

AB 1660 clarifies that actions taken by an employer that are required to comply with federal I-9 verification requirements under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) do not violate California law.

~California Chamber of Commerce list of new employment laws scheduled to take effect in 2015 can be found at www.calchamber.com.


Accentuating the Positive

Lyrics of a once popular song said that we should accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. Many of our youth are engaged in great humanitarian endeavors, however, their good works are too often overshadowed in the news media by negative, sensationalized acts of barbarism. The elementary school scholars at Henry Elementary School in San Bernardino are engaged in a Global Studies program. Recently, 4th and 5th graders researched Global indigenous tribes around the world. They studied tribes such as The Awa in Brasil, The Matses in Brasil, The Wichi in Argentina, The Bushmen in Botswana, The Ogiek in Kenya, The Aboriginal people of Australia, The Batak in the Philippines, The Dongria Kondh of India, and the Siberian Tribes of Russia, among others. Each scholar presented a major power point film documentary of their research, complete with credits at the end of the film. The young scholars filmed, narrated, and operated all of their equipment. I was absolutely amazed! During the research, scholars found that many native people were in danger of having their lands destroyed. The scholars found a website on international tribal survival, and planned a “Tea for Tribes” to raise funds for tribes that are endangered due to deforestation and loss of resources. Donations were forwarded to help these less fortunate tribes around the globe. Our youth were giving instead of taking, providing food instead of drugs, making friends and collaborating instead of fighting. The young scholars were smiling and excited rather than sullen and bullying. Their skills and researched knowledge was absolutely “off the charts”! They deserve Kudos for the great humanitarian activities in which they are engaged. Congratulations to the young Henry Elementary School scholars for their sensitivity, to their superlative principal, Dr. Marcus Funchess, and to the great Henry staff, for truly Accentuating the Positive. They truly live up to their artistic expression, “We are smart, We are Intelligent, We are full of greatness!” Come on Adults, the children are leading the way. Let’s get on board, reach out and touch, and make this world a better place! We can!

Mildred Dalton Henry, Ph.D. San Bernardino

4,000 Attend Winter Wonderland, THANK YOU!

Good afternoon City Employees and Community Members, On behalf of the San Bernardino Parks, Recreation & Community Services Department, we want to take the time to thank you, for your time and support, for our first Winter Wonderland that was held on Saturday, December 13th. A tremendous undertaking, we had at least 400 volunteers, vendors & staff and an estimated 4,000 participants. And it truly was a Wonderful event. We are already working to make next year’s event bigger, more organized and, of course, more Wonderful :_) Our hope is that you will collaborate with us again and that you and your family have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. (To view more pictures and videos, please check out our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/sbparksandrecreation; you are also welcome to send pictures to Aviana, and she can share them).


Mickey Valdivia, Director & Aviana Cerezo, Community Recreation Manager Parks, Recreation & Community Services Department

New San Bernardino school police chief gets it

A police officer witnessing an adolescent assaulting another adolescent will make an arrest. San Bernardino City Unified School District police officers seek why the adolescent got into the fight. Did his father hit him that morning? Did his mother abuse him before school? What is going on with the student and how can the officers model good behavior and mentor for life success? Chief Joseph Paulino gets it: He knows adolescent mistakes can destroy a life, mistakes we can correct with mentoring and modeling good behaviors. Chief Paulino and San Bernardino City Unified School District board member Abigail Medina are working on school policing as a discipline separate from beat policing. Paulino and Michael Gallo, president of the San Bernardino school board, want to develop a program for troubled youths — those most likely to bully others, where staff mentor and model good behavior. The students, families and citizens of San Bernardino County are well served with Chief Paulino as the new school police chief.

Daved van Stralen, Loma Linda

Terrorists win when the U.S. caves to threats

Sure, we all fear terrorist threats stemming from Sept. 11, so what are Americans to do? Hide and give up our freedom? So we get these threats from our enemies and we pull the movie. Maybe this was a good move, but what’s next? Baseball games, the Super Bowl, Disneyland, flying on vacations, buying groceries, drinking water, and so on? Once these low-life terrorists see we back down and that Americans are giving up their freedoms, they will keep doing this and expanding on it. On top of that, we now have President Obama giving back terrorists to Cuba and kissing their hind ends. This country was built for standing up for what is right and we never backed down from doing the right thing. Now we have to give in to every whimpering threat and adapt to their lifestyle?

Steve Portias, San Bernardino


An Academic Overview: Existentialism and Its Relevance in Social Revolution (Part One).

Anthony Victoria

Human Civilization during the first half of the Twentieth century saw two major powers arise from devastating war destruction take part in a political and military standoff for global supremacy.

In spite of relations between the Soviet Union and the United States being softened as a result of Nazi Germany’s aggression in Europe, both nations were suspicious of one another’s actions subsequent to the Great War and preceding the Second World War.

Ideology such as McCarthyism that made accusations of subversion or treason without regard for evidence and isolationist foreign policy, such as the Warsaw Pact of Eastern Europe and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) of Western Europe arose due to perceived threats of military action coming from both sides.

Disillusioned by these ideas that transcended into neo-colonial and imperial actions across the continents of Africa, Asia, and the Americas, intellectuals such as French Philosopher Albert Camus, African-American author James Baldwin, and French poet Aime Cesaire wrote furiously and passionately about the issues that affected third world colonial societies, the Eastern Bloc nations of Czechoslovakia and Hungary (to name a few), and a segregated but “equal” United States.

The prominent ideas of democracy, progress, and civilization to these men were merely political propaganda aimed to cover the hate-filled racist and capitalist agenda that motivated the foreign policy of that era.

In contrast to the belief that the ideas would liberate oppressed peoples in developing regions of the world, the intellectuals were aware that an existentialist way of thinking carried much more significance in efforts to bring cultural liberation and social engagement to the forefront.

Whereas Cesaire denounced neocolonialism in Discourse on Colonialism through poetic lines that highlighted Western European hypocrisy, Camus and Baldwin wrote more analytical, theoretical prose works that analyzed race, class, and imperialism on a grander scale.

These works when compared to Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle render little dissimilarity. In fact, Vonnegut’s satirical novel can help one further understand existentialism . By addressing the issues of science, religion, and nation, in a more humorous matter, Vonnegut addresses the idea of existentialism by demonstrating the unnaturalness of scientific inventions and the arbitrariness of government and religion.

Cesaire in his essay begins by asking the overall question of what colonization fundamentally is.

For the communist party member, it was not the desire to push back the frontiers of ignorance, disease, and tyranny through the act of God or as an act of philanthropy, but “Christian pedantry” that laid the dishonest equations of Christianity=civilization and paganism=savagery.

Only “Abominable colonialist and racist consequences”, Cesaire wrote, “whose victims were to be the Indians, the yellow peoples, and the Negroes,” is the end result of colonial aspirations. In the broader sense, the author argues that no one colonizes innocently or with impunity.

Such a person or nation-state with that sense of power justifies colonization is already a sick civilization. By using Marx’s ideology of historical materialism to outline the “false consciousness” of the proletariat-colonized population of third world nations, Cesaire addresses capitalism as the institutional and ideological framework of the bourgeois class.

Cesaire argues that a capitalist society is able to impose the ideas it finds suitable for the working class.His solution, as stated in his essay, was for people “to see clearly and think clearly” to avoid its deception. His ideas were existentialist in the sense that it questioned the foundations of racism and colonialism and aimed to implement ideological foundations that were necessary in order to transcend from a colonized population to a “classless society”. In simple terms, revolution to Cesaire was the only way in which the proletariat could rise up and overcome the harsh reality of a tyrannical bourgeois society.

Despite many of Cesaire’s claims and ideas stemming from Marxist thought, the concept of writing about the conditions of the colonized inspired revolution around the world.The national movements of Vietnam and Madagascar, and July 26 movement in Cuba would demonstrate Cesaire’s writings had a lasting impression on the oppressed peoples of the world.

Written for Professor Brian Lloyd, professor of U.S. History at the University of California, Riverside.

Recognizing World War II Veterans

The Normandy regional government has created a medal for any living veteran of the Battle of Normandy (D-Day +100) or who participated in the reconstruction of Normandy after the war. We have been asked to assist in distributing the medals to those Veterans residing in the United States. If you have Veterans in your council whom you would like to recognize, I only need to know their name, and unit they were with (rank at the time would be good but not necessary). I will mail the medal and ribbon to your council for presentation. (picture attached). From working with these heroes nothing means more to them to have youth thank them and be aware of what they did. Having a medal presented by a scout with their thanks means a lot. I hope it will help you to continue to build relationships with organizations that also serve Veterans in your council. Each medal needs to be accounted for so I need the names before I send out the medals. Thank you for all you do, and I am proud to serve with you making a difference now and in the future.

Vincent P. Cozzone, Scout Executive/CEO Transatlantic Council, BSA​

Crossing guard in Highland an unsung hero

If your spirits need a lift, drive past the corner of Lynwood Way and Victoria Avenue in Highland, near the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino between (roughly) the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. or 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The school crossing guard at this corner will make you think you’re the person she’s been waiting to greet. She’s there every school day, whatever the weather. Greeting passing vehicles is only her “sideline.” Every child who goes through her intersection gets a smile, a pat on the back, a kind word, or all of these things. I often wonder how many children have brighter days because of her. I wonder if these students’ teachers are aware of how much more smoothly their days run because of her. I wonder if parents are aware of how much more smoothly their evenings run because of her. I wonder if she is aware of how many lives she affects. She is truly an unsung hero.

Loleta Cruse, San Bernardino

Disappointed about lack of transparency

find it very disappointing and disheartening to read that newly elected Mayor Richard De La Rosa, Councilwoman Summer Zamora Jorrin and Councilman Isaac Suchil dissented from voting against transparency. Isn’t that what a majority of Colton citizens want? Openness and transparency? And isn’t that why we voted for them? If you look deep into these elected officials, most of them worked under former Mayor Frank Gonzales, the king of hiring family. We don’t need or want nepotism. Yes, family members supposedly “volunteer” their services, but in the long run, they don’t do it for free. They eventually wind up getting hired to work for the city. This has to stop now before it spreads. A better way can be accomplished by randomly selecting a number of Colton residents on an invite from a registrar to serve on a commission or whatever is needed, regarding our city’s concerns.

Mario Flores, Colton

Cameras a distraction

Who will choose which officer wears the body camera? At one time there were cameras in patrol cars to no avail. Not that police officers shouldn’t wear body cameras, but I would hate to see an officer engage his body camera before he can draw his gun if he is in danger of being shot. If the camera, the officer and the alleged criminal work in unison with the camera showing the activities, it’s a positive piece of equipment, but if there is only one person being photographed — probably the alleged criminal — where is the fairness in this procedure? New training, new way of thinking and new procedures would be advantageous.

Lois Eisenberg, Valencia

Keep it simple, head out to Holiday Happenings

Yazmin Alvarez

As much as I’d like for my amazingly witty self to astound my fabulously fantastic avid readers with some insightful stellar writings for this week, I have some shocking news instead… I’ve got nothing.


I’m blank.

Sure I have plenty of things I’d like to spaz out about like the princess driver yesterday that was so busy reading her novel as she sped through a parking lot nearly squishing me into a pancake because well, she clearly mustn’t have any other free time to read than while driving, or the fact that I pay a hefty phone bill for service that sucks with AT&T and can’t get reception in any place surrounded with oxygen or can’t hook on to wifi because towers or whatever makes only my phone work are down (yes, I hope someone from the company comes across this).

I spent a lot of time the last few days thinking about what to bring you guys this week, and finally when I stopped thinking (yes, insert joke here) it came to me!

KISS. Keep it simple, stupid.

So instead of rambling on filling space with nonsense like I usually do, I’m sticking to the basics here and providing some information on a few can’t miss happenings this month throughout the area and wherever else comes to mind. Here you go, news you can use:

Dec. 16 Healthcare Enrollment

A free health care enrollment event sponsored by SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West is scheduled in San Bernardino at St. Bernardine Medical Center, 2101 N. Waterman Ave.

The health fair will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is designed to help people sign-up for free and low-cost health coverage through Medi-Cal or Covered California.

For information on enrollment requirements call 888-920-4517.

Holiday Luau Luncheon

Put on your favorite Hawaiian shirt and join the Joslyn Senior Center for a fun, holiday spirited luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m, at the center 21 Grant Street in Redlands. Dan Damon will provide the entertainment and a delicious meal will be provided by Thomas Catering. The price is $5 per person with a patron card, $10 without.

Information and registration: 909-798-7550.

Dec. 18 Joy for Jackets

Coffee Nutzz in Rialto presents a holiday event free for the community. Children will have the opportunity to meet Santa, enjoy Christmas stories and several activities. The event runs from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at coffee shop, 119 E Foothill Blvd.

Information: 909-874-2222.

Dec. 20 Santa in Rialto

It’s a bird, it’s a plane it’s Santa arriving by helicopter.

The man of the season will fly into Rialto at Sunrise Church to visit with all the good boys and girls, ready to read their Christmas lists.

The free event begins at 2 p.m. but the line to meet Santa will start forming at noon and will close at 2:30 p.m.

Information: Call Cpl. Nelson at 909- 820-2515.

Dec. 26- Jan 1 Redlands on Ice

The Redlands Chamber of Commerce will host the first-ever ice rink in downtown for the holiday season.

The rink will be open for one week from noon to 10 p.m.

Special events, classes and open skate times will be available.

General admission prices: $12 per hour ages 13 and up, $9 per hour for children 12 and younger. Skate rental is $3.

Information: 909-793-2546.


Great strides made in ‘five percent’ role-model goal

Earlier this year, I was able to meet Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant at a book signing for his newest book “How The Poor Can Save Capitalism.” He noted a study by the University of Chicago and cited in Malcom Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” which said it only takes five percent of a community to act as role models to stabilize a community. Incredible. Only five percent of positive role models are needed for our young people to be inspired by, aspire to be and view themselves in a new, more positive way. I am a resident of Rialto (for more than 40 years), longtime employee of the Rialto Unified School District, parent of four RUSD high school graduates and grandparent of three students currently in RUSD schools. I believe we made great strides toward a five percent role model goal last month. Rialto Middle School and Kolb Middle School Robotics Clubs hosted the Inland Empire’s First Lego League Robotics Qualifying Tournament, which received participation from 11 schools in the region. We had over 70 mentors from ages 12 to 60 who assisted in our tournament and represented proudly the city of Rialto and Rialto Unified School District to our visiting teams. In addition to myself, the other three coaches from RUSD were William Patterson of Jehue Middle School; Shelly Gates of Kolb Middle School; Ron Kovich of Kolb Middle School. We had 13 coaches from competing schools that invested time and money to create a First Lego League team. RUSD Board Member Joseph Martinez and Thomas Haldorsen, the associated superintendent of personnel served as judge and referee. Ricardo Carlos of RUSD Communication Services kept up the social media posts, press releases, including picture-taking and interviewing student participants. Staff from Rialto Middle School included Ms. Mims Williams, Ms. Smalls, Ms. Yamoto, Ms. Capalla, Ms. Alva and Ms. Hetzer. Ms. Pool, Ms. Erickson and Ms. Richardson volunteered from Kolb Middle School. Eisenhower High School’s Waahida Manson and Anthony Marroquin are advanced science, technology, engineering and math students from Mr. Atkinsons High School STEM program. Teacher Sheri Garcia, and parent Dianna Mower represented Werner Elementary School. Other parent volunteers were Irene Mendoza of Jehue Middle School and Maria Rodriquez of Rialto Middle School. Thank you to all of the mentors and role models who participated. You made a difference to not only the youth in Rialto, but to youth visiting from throughout the region as well. Thank you for being a part of the five percent. I, and our students, appreciate you! I am Rialto Proud.

Rod Campbell, Rialto

Ramos misses the point

The district attorney missed the point and is perhaps campaigning too soon. Jon Stewart was talking about white cops killing black men. Although Stewart may be wrong about the cause of Dante Parker’s death, it fit in the category Stewart was referring. The only way I can consider the DA Ramos’ numbers is if he breaks them down into the same context alluded to by Stewart. How many of those 600 felony incidents involved a white cop vs. black man? How many of the 2,300 San Bernardino County peace officers who fell victim to crime was the result of a white cop v. black man? And I absolutely disagree with the DA’s assertion there is little care about the harm or death to our peace officers. Our community is still in full support of Officer Gabriel Garcia. And as tragic as that incident was, it was not a matter of white cop v. black men. C’mon Mr. District Attorney, play it right. There was no mass demonstration favoring the LAPD’s bad Officer Christopher Dorner. There was great empathy and support for the families and peace officers victimized by Dorner’s rampage. But there is also remembrance of Rodney King and there is a difference.

Norman E. Edelen, San Bernardino

Toll roads improve region’s transportation system

Toll lanes are very quickly coming to the 91 and 15 freeways in Riverside County and are the preferred alternative for the 10 Freeway expansion in San Bernardino County. Toll lanes are a resource-based decision and reflect the need for transportation improvements which are, as of yet, unfunded. The bottom line is that without toll lanes, you have fewer choices and less investment in the state highway system. Most toll roads establish new freeway lanes or routes, not requiring the conversion of existing lanes, and benefit those who don’t use them by taking cars off of the non-toll lanes. The alternative is to do nothing. Unless and until our highways are more adequately funded, the benefits of toll roads should be clear.

Paul C. Mim Mack, Ontario

All lives matter: Police brutality goes beyond race

Anthony Victoria

For months the hash tag, #blacklivesmatter has transcended out of our social network news feeds and into city street protests. Following the news that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for killing unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, thousands of people all over the United States are now supporting the African-American struggle against police brutality and social, economic equality.

I understand the frustrations of the African-American community. They have every right to be disillusioned with the criminal justice system. After all, data shows that African-Americans make up approximately 1 million of the total 2.3 million prison population in the U.S. A study conducted by the Malcolm X Grassroots movement back in 2012 demonstrated that an African-American was murdered by law enforcement every 28 hours. The study further reinforces the argument that the darker your skin, the more likely you will become a victim of brutalization.

Despite all these facts and the reality of racism for people of color, I truly believe that the issue of police brutality and our nation’s constant struggle with the Military Industrial Complex goes beyond racial barrier lines. The more we make it an issue of black against white and vice-versa, we will further stray away from the multicultural communities that many of our predecessors fought for.

To an extent I agree that certain people of privilege, predominately white people of privilege, do not understand the plight of the black man. They do not understand their ancestor’s cruel role in history as the colonizers; people that were responsible for the Middle Passage, Indentured Servitude, the Three-Fifth Compromise, and the genocide of Native Americans.

It should not mean, however, that we should totally exclude our white brothers and sisters from the discussion. Although not in high numbers like African-Americans and Latinos, they have experienced brutality at the hands of police too.

It was just three years ago that people across our nation were upset that law enforcement officers had brutally beat a white homeless man in Fullerton. That man, Kelly Thomas, was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and was beaten so badly that many of the bones in his face were broken and choked on his own blood.

That same year in 2011 Kayvan Sabeghi, a 32-year-old veteran who served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, was beat and arrested by Oakland Police during an Occupy Movement demonstration. According to the San Jose Mercury News, while incarcerated at the Glenn Dyer Jail, the prison staff refused to help him while he lay on the floor vomiting from his injuries, unable to move and begging for help. Sabeghi eventually went unconscious in his jail cell.

Why did we not stand up and speak up then?

Whether it’s a social trend that has prompted the non-political average resident to cling on; whether it is the media’s propaganda tool to anger African-American’s; or if it is a racial matter that continues the legacy of large scale rioting in our nation is up for all of us to decide.

I have already made up my mind. I believe that #alllivesmatter and we should be doing the best we can to ensure that future generations do not live through this madness.

Anthony Victoria is a community writer for the Inland Empire Community Newspaper Group and can be reached at avictoria@iecn.com or at (909) 381-9898 Ext. 208

Obama, politicians on the wrong track

President Obama and all politicians are on the wrong track. If you or I break the law, we can and should be prosecuted. What part of breaking the law don’t undocumented immigrants and politicians understand? And it isn’t five million; it is the total 11 million who broke the law by crossing our borders illegally. Australia had a similar problem and they passed a law months ago that if you illegally cross their border, you will never get to become a citizen. The past six months they have not had one undocumented immigrant enter the country. Case solved!

Ed Wentz, Colton

Unlawful employment

I realize that President Obama believes he can claim executive discretion in deciding which undocumented immigrants to deport or not. I don’t understand how he can OK the issuance of work permits for those he chooses not to deport. Existing law strictly forbids the employment (or aiding the employment) of undocumented immigrants, and from what I understand Obama’s executive order does not grant legal status, but only a temporary reprieve from deportation. How can he ignore (or change) the employment portion of the law?

Hardy Pruuel, Torrance

The do-nothing Congress

In his first two years in office, President Obama had a Congress with which he could have passed comprehensive immigration reform, but he and his Congress did nothing, instead. And now the president is trying to make the Republican-controlled Congress look like the bad guy, even though it is doing the same thing as a Democrat-controlled Congress once did in regard to immigration reform — that is, it is doing nothing! The best course of action for any Congress deadlocked on the issue of immigration amnesty is for the Congress and the president to only enact a “constitutional amendment” on the issue, which would then “pass on” the responsibility for approval (or not) of immigration amnesty directly to the states, which is where it rightfully belongs!

James M. Ammann, Whittier

Some who serve give more than they receive

Am I disappointed? You bet I am. The voters of San Bernardino voted to retain Charter Section 186, as is, mandated by the voters. Not surprising. Far be it from me to deny our police and firefighters a just salary and pension. Sure, they put their lives on the line to protect us. But when a city is struggling with bankruptcy, trying to make ends meet, and when funds are not there, why is it so offensive to negotiate salaries and pensions, at least until we recover? However, it occurred to me, we might need to do some soul-searching, here. Our troops lay down their lives for us, too. Not knowing, as they leave for overseas, whether they will see their families again. I don’t think their salaries or pensions are on their minds. More likely, it’s their families who are left behind that concerns them: Can they handle it alone? As they answer their call to duty they may be making the supreme sacrifice. I think that’s the word I am trying to use, “sacrifice” for the good of others. Remember, it’s more blessed to give than to receive.

Marion D. Bilek, San Bernardino

What if Ferguson race roles were reversed?

Try this thought experiment and be brutally honest — picture Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson as an African-American. Imagine all the facts as being exactly as before. Now ask if Wilson had a right to defend himself from a 300-pound man who had just punched him in the face and tried to wrestle his gun away? Eight percent of police officers killed in the line of duty are murdered with their own weapons by criminals who were just moments before unarmed. Police are trained not to let anyone dangerous get too close. Michael Brown outweighed Wilson by almost 100 pounds, had just attacked him, and was running at him. Anyone in similar circumstances would have defended themselves. What happened was tragic, but if either man was a different color, the rioters would not be stealing goods or burning innocent people’s businesses in the name of so-called justice.

Jeff Hoy, Redlands


University of California may no longer be affordable for students

Anthony Victoria

By the time you read this, a critical decision that has implications of raising tuition by five percent for University of California students for the next five years will have been decided by the system’s board of regents.

While UC President Janet Napolitano believes the proposed hike is the result of the California government’s short change to the state’s premier research university system, lawmakers like Governor Jerry Brown and Senate pro-tem Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) shared sentiments of opposition and have presented alternatives to the proposal.

Disagreements like these will continue to exist in California as long as the economic climate continues to fluctuate.

However, considering that the state has plenty of money to fund prisons ($9.8 billion) and university officials seeming to always have room to raise their chancellor’s salaries, it is unfair to place the burden on your top consumer: the adolescents and young adults of California. We should not be asking working class and middle-class families to sacrifice more money.

UC undergraduate tuition (currently at $12,192 a year) is about eight times more than what it was in 1989. Add on campus fees, books, housing, associated student fees etc., you’re looking at about an average of over $28,000 a year.

In September, the UC regents hiked up the pay of officials at Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Merced and Riverside campuses of up to 20% and awarded Irvine’s new chancellor up to 24% more than his predecessor.

Do you see the problem?

In the 1960’s California introduced its Master Plan for Higher Education that included the Community College, California State University, and University of California systems. In that plan, educators envisioned free or low-cost tuition for the state’s students that would eventually become educators themselves or community leaders. We have dramatically moved away from that vision and are moving more in towards privatization.

And despite Gov. Brown’s and other lawmaker’s plans to increase funding (most notably Brown’s plan to increase the state’s contribution to 4% a year over the next two years), for UC President Napolitano, it is still not enough.

Even more controversial is that student leaders were not involved in the conversation. A recent editorial in the Daily Californian mentioned that the decision was made in the absence of many student leaders across all ten campuses. UC officials are handicapping their students.

In the end, all involved parties will suffer greatly: UC officials will be at the negative end of a financial and educational debate, California lawmakers will be accused of not prioritizing education, and most importantly, students and their parents will have to pay more money for tuition, taking out more loans, and falling further into debt.

By 2020, the year my little sister is projected to graduate from high school and pursues her dream of attending UCLA, my father (who is on the cusp of retirement) is possibly looking at a $15, 563 bill for tuition. Like Papa, I’m hoping Margaret does well enough to garner scholarships and grants to help her pay for school.

Not everyone will have that same fortune. The Master Plan is no longer a leading cause.

Food trucks taking a bite out of local businesses

What is with all the support we are giving to this monthly food truck feeding frenzy San Bernardino puts on? We have restaurants closing all around us and now we want to support this and more money being taken in from businesses out of town? Who is spearheading and supporting this? We have enough problems with the casino undercutting and driving the closing of our local businesses. Now this. What is wrong with the people who run this city? They need to start learning to run it like a business.

Steve Portias, San Bernardino

Incentives could help improve voter turnout

Many years ago, I would forget it was election day and would not vote. Remember cars riding up and down streets with a bullhorn blaring messages? Well, that might wake some of us up. While that may be one of the many reasons so few people vote today, maybe a little bribing will help get voters to the polls. How about a free coffee? The “I Voted” sticker could have something to indicate they get a free coffee. There might be other businesses that would offer incentives, from free meals and merchandise to discounts on whatever. If getting more people to the polls would make this a safe city, I think that would benefit the many businesses that would participate. I also wonder if transportation is a factor in the low voter turnout. Maybe all they need is a ride to the polling place.

Liz Lopez, San Bernardino

A cancer patient knows what decision involves

What real choices do you have when handed a terminal diagnosis? The religious fanatics will argue that only God can choose, so they’ll pray for a miracle to happen and a cure. If this God they speak of can help, why did he allow the person to acquire the illness in the first place? As a cancer survivor, I believe in the dignity of the subject. What good is the quality of life when it starts to dissipate in terminally ill patients? My belief would be that it’s best to stay around as long as possible. However, when I’ve reached the point of no return, I’ll depart this world on my terms. The state should have the right-to-die law. If there is a forgiving God, which he’s supposed to be, he’ll welcome me into his kingdom.

Lou Solo, Gardena

Alcohol abuse leads to domestic violence

It is pretty well known that spousal and child abuse, called domestic violence, is a major problem in the nation. Recent cases of professional athletes abusing women and children are but a tip of the proverbial iceberg. What is not generally recognized is the spark that triggers such violence. It is booze! Alcohol drinking is conservatively estimated in 70 percent to 80 percent of domestic violence cases in the nation. An article on domestic violence by Caroline Knapp was published in the New York Times in 2000, which emphasized alcohol drinking’s heavy involvement in such violence. The reason we tend to ignore the “elephant in the room” is because we (the 70 percent of the population that drinks alcohol) like what it does for us. We seek the euphoric mood swing. However, in far too many cases, the sedation of repressed emotions, specifically, anger, sparks violence, usually perpetrated on those we live with. Legislators and anger-management program leaders who endeavor to reduce domestic violence need to seriously address excessive alcohol use (addiction) among violators or they will continue to spin their wheels.

Mike Kennedy, San Bernardino The author is a former alcohol program administrator and instructor at San Bernardino Valley College.

Bible teachings as important as Holocaust

Enough on the Holocaust already! There’s always going to be people who will never accept the fact that such a horrific event as the Holocaust could ever have taken place, and no matter what you may try to teach people about it, some will never accept it as fact. The Anti-Defamation League and devout Jews are insistent on a mandatory teaching of the Holocaust, yet these same people do not believe in Jesus Christ as being the salvation of mankind. His birth, life, ministry and crucifixion are well-documented in a book put together by people who witnessed events that happened, it’s called the Bible. If they want to educate people on the Holocaust, then in turn they should be willing to be educated on the life of Jesus Christ.

Peter Paddison, Hesperia

It’s getting cold out, bundle up or you’ll get sick — or will you?

Yazmin Alvarez

Now that we’re in the middle of November and Thanksgiving is just around the corner, there’s finally some relief from the heat—finally.

November equals cooler temperatures, which equals hearty down home cooking and hot chocolate, warm cookies— boy am I ready to eat.

But don’t get too excited. This piece isn’t about Thanksgiving or even food (c’mon I’m not always that predictable), it’s about seasons.

Fall and winter and the flu season, actually.

And if you grew up hearing the same thing I did, and still do, you’ve heard it a million times:

Don’t go outside without a jacket, you’re going to get sick. Don’t go to sleep with your hair wet, you’re going to get sick. Cover up, you’re going to get sick. I can go on and on… But do cold temperatures really get us sick?

No, well not entirely, according to a CNN report published Oct. 31.

Yes, it’s common that we tend to get sick more when the weather gets colder, but it isn’t actually the cold weather that causes the common cold. According to the report, it’s what we do when it gets cold out.

“When the weather turns cold, we all run indoors, where air is recycled and we’re often in close quarters with other people and viruses. We all sneeze on top of each other,” says Dr. Sorana Segal-Maurer, chief of the Dr. James J. Rahal Jr. Division of Infectious Disease at New York Hospital Queens, in the report. Hmm…”we all sneeze on top of each other”… sounds like germs to me.

Yes, viruses cause colds.

Here’s her explanation:

“Dry and cold conditions are probably more high-risk situations for viruses because of dry mucosa,” adds Segal-Maurer. The mucosa, she says, is what lines your trachea, the back of your throat and your sinuses. Viruses invade the mucosa and start growing, causing your cold.

And that’s viruses — as in, plural. The common cold isn’t just one type of virus: When you say “I’ve got a cold,” that could mean you have one of many bugs.”

And here’s the explanation from a Fox News report published Nov. 12:

“The truth lies in how the weather affects colds after you’re infected,” says Dr. LeeAnna Lyne from Susquehanna Health Medical Group in Pennsylvania.“Cold weather causes decreased blood flow in the nose, ears, hands, etc., to keep the heart and brain protected. This causes dryness and a decreased ability of the nose to filter pathogens like viruses,” making you vulnerable and aggravating already-present symptoms.

So my take on all this—keep it simple folks—just wash your hands and don’t go around sneezing and wiping your face then shaking hands and touching things, for everyone’s well-being. And of course, a few tips on how to stay healthy:

1. Practice cleanliness and good hygiene. Wash your hands often and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds to wash away germs. Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes to prevent the spread of pathogens you may have picked up on a doorknob or countertop.

2. Dress for the conditions. While stepping outside without your coat or with wet hair won’t give you instant pneumonia (sorry, moms), it can stress your immune system or worsen existing symptoms. Dressing warmly protects you from this increased susceptibility and from the risks of frostbite and hypothermia if you become stranded in a storm, for instance.

Visit www.foxnews.com/health 6 ways to combat the health effects of cold weather to read the rest of the tips.

Please Join Us for the 4th Annual Reception of the George Brown Legacy Project 

My late husband George Brown devoted his life and career to equal justice, education, and public service. These 3 themes stand out in 3 leaders who have built a better Inland Region.

Please join me on:

Sunday, November 16, 2014 at the Chaffey Community Museum of Art, 217 S. Lemon Ave. in Ontario from 5pm to 7pm., for our 4th annual reception of the George Brown Legacy Project to celebrate their contributions and one other person special to George and me:

George knew this bipartisan trio well. Their endeavors for civil rights, public schools, and responsive local government in Riverside and San Bernardino counties carry on his mission. Patricia “Corky” Larson, former Riverside County supervisor and Palm Springs school board member. Lois Carson, board member, San Bernardino Valley College Foundation. Sam Crowe, attorney and school board member in Ontario. Please consider joining our host committee for this event.

To join or become a sponsor, please call 323-669-9999.

Tickets for this reception are $50.

On Sunday, we will also pay tribute to the public service of longtime San Bernardino County leader and outgoing Congresswoman Gloria Negrete McLeod. She joined myself and former Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter, at the groundbreaking for the George Brown Elementary School, now in its second year of shaping a new generation of Explorers in San Bernardino. Join us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter The mission of the George Brown Legacy Project is to establish the archives of the late visionary Congressman George Brown at the University of California, Riverside and ensure their use by future generations of scholars, reporters, and leaders in science, labor, business, and public service. http://library.ucr.edu/view/georgebrown I really hope you plan to join us and look forward to seeing you.


Marta Brown, Steering Committee Member, George Brown Legacy Project

Congressman Elect Aguilar’s Statement Honoring Veterans Day

Congressman Elect Pete Aguilar (CA-31) released the following statement in honor of Veterans Day: “As Americans it is our responsibility to honor the tremendous bravery and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans each and everyday by providing them with the highest quality healthcare, job training and transition counseling when they return home. But Veterans Day is a special day when we can come together as a community to say thank you, highlight their service and honor the men and women who have put it all on the line to fight for our values and keep us safe. “This Veterans Day, as a newly elected member of Congress, I am pledging to honor the veterans in San Bernardino County by doing all that I can and working with others in Congress to improve the VA and fight for jobs. Today, tomorrow and from now on, let’s make a commitment to keep the promises we have made to our nation’s veterans.”

Congressman Elect Pete Aguilar (CA-31)

Some just don’t get it

Right-to-die legislation opponents aren’t terminally sick. How could they possibly know what a person of sound mind who is very sick is going through as she or he requests the right to die instead of being hooked up to machines and experiencing so much pain? Give that person that right!

Ed Wentz, Colton

Paying attention while driving saves lives

It’s unlikely the results of the current study on distracted officers will differ from previous ones. Repeated studies have been done and the findings are always the same: multi-tasking is a fantasy. It was recently shown that using a cell phone — hands-free or not — produces an accident rate similar to driving after drinking. It’s not what your hands are doing, but what your mind is. The very best such as a skilled pilot, after a lot of training and experience, is able to quickly switch between tasks, but while they are talking on the radio they are not flying the plane. A Pennsylvania state police sergeant made the point to me (I was dating his daughter in the days before seatbelts) and my friends. Driving is a full-time job. Turn the radio off and open the windows at least a crack so you can hear what’s going on outside. Keep your head on a swivel and stay with traffic. You are operating a multi-thousand pound hunk of steel and hitting something at 35 mph is the same as falling off a three-story building.

Chris Daly, Yucaipa

Interactions with San Bernardino’s homeless population

In recent months, photographer Fabian Torres has been assisting homeless people in the city of San Bernardino, providing them with water and other essential things needed to survive on the streets. I was able to tag along one day and speak to these people. After all, just like us, they need Love and Security.

Name: Junior (refused to give his legal name)

Gender: Male Age: 23 Hometown: Morongo, California.

Date of testimony: September 19, 2014.

Since this gentleman may risk apprehension as a result of speaking to us about his situation, we have decided to not provide his personal identity. Therefore, we will address him as Junior.

Junior was released from a California State Prison in January. Due to his parole, he is not allowed to return back to his hometown of Morongo, which is an unfortunate decision that has left him without a home. He said he feels that he’s being forced to be a homeless resident in the city of San Bernardino as a result of the city’s lack of support.

“I have ways to get a job back home,” he said. “I have a family who can support me, but they just won’t let me go home.”

“You have all these advocates speaking about how they can help the homeless, but nothing is being done,” Junior said.

Junior said it saddens him to witness families go through the same thing he experience’s because he believes being homeless shouldn’t come down to an ultimatum.

“I’ve seen people out here and they have to choose between either paying the bills or having food,” said Doe. “It shouldn’t come down to that.”

When asked why he was sent to prison, he replied by explaining simply that he was hanging out with the wrong crowd.

“I dropped out of high school and got a job,” he said. “Things were going good for me and I let that all go by making a mistake. Where are my homies now? They don’t know you. You don’t exist to them when you’re in there locked up.”

The 23-year-old said despite his situation, he is grateful to have the company of his fiance to get him through tough times. He looks to get back on his feet by working for CalTrans. He is expecting a call back from them soon.

“Wisdom is what you experience,” he said. “I know I’ve made mistakes and I have to learn from them.”

The road back to recovery will be an arduous one. Junior is on parole for five years and cannot return back to Morongo until he completes his term.

Name: Adrian

Gender: Male

Age: Unknown

Hometown: San Bernardino, California.

Date of Testimony: September 19, 2014.

As we walked down the steps of the Radisson Hotel, we noticed a man sitting by himself on the steps that lead into the abandoned Convention Center. Fabian approached him and asked if he was thirsty.

The man–who appeared to be in his 40’s (or even 50’s)was friendly–acted in a coy-like fashion, but nonetheless accepted Fabian’s water bottle donations.

We introduced ourselves and we began to speak about the city a bit. I mentioned how it seemed like we were in the shadows (which I realize now didn’t make any sense, but whatever).

The gentleman, whose first name is Adrian, mentioned some sort of model which has been on display in the city before. He said witnessing that was the fondest memory he’s had of San Bernardino.

Adrian seemed a little bittersweet about the current state of the city. He mentioned Omnitrans’ SBX and said he thinks the city is improving slowly. However, he went on to compare the city’s downtown area to a scene in “I am Legend.”

We laughed a little, which is always good. We hope Adrian is making the best out of his tough situation.

“I’ve been in and out of shelter’s since 1996,” he said. “I’m just living day by day.”

Paying attention while driving saves lives

It’s unlikely the results of the current study on distracted officers will differ from previous ones. Repeated studies have been done and the findings are always the same: multi-tasking is a fantasy. It was recently shown that using a cell phone — hands-free or not — produces an accident rate similar to driving after drinking. It’s not what your hands are doing, but what your mind is. The very best such as a skilled pilot, after a lot of training and experience, is able to quickly switch between tasks, but while they are talking on the radio they are not flying the plane. A Pennsylvania state police sergeant made the point to me (I was dating his daughter in the days before seatbelts) and my friends. Driving is a full-time job. Turn the radio off and open the windows at least a crack so you can hear what’s going on outside. Keep your head on a swivel and stay with traffic. You are operating a multi-thousand pound hunk of steel and hitting something at 35 mph is the same as falling off a three-story building.

Chris Daly, Yucaipa

More information needed before annexing land

The council and development department of San Bernardino are facilitating a developer with a proposed 379.2-acre project to the detriment of residents. The proposed Spring Trails development is currently located on county land that needs to be annexed to the city in order for high-density housing to be built in the development. This is necessary because the county zoning for this state identified high wind/high fire zone is for one house per five acres. This area has lost homes a number of times during the Santa Ana fire seasons. The City Planning Commission turned this subdivision down twice before the City Council voted to accept the tract plans which don’t have ingress or egress roads into or out of the tract. Constituents living in the county area to be annexed and surrounding city parcels have expressed their concerns that this is a bad development for this area at this time. On Nov. 3, the City Council will be voting to send the planned development to LAFCO for annexation from the county to the city. If these 379 acres are annexed, the city will be responsible for fire protection, policing and weed abatement. The city areas presently do not get any services for weed abatement or maintenance of West Meyers Road, but the county has maintained the roadway and weed abatement in the county areas. During rain events, the county has heavy equipment on West Meyers Road, controlling mudflows coming from the county parcels, which in turn facilitates the safe ingress and egress for both city and county residents in the area. A bankrupt city can’t afford more areas of responsibility for services and protection of citizens, especially large tracts of rural land prone to fire and flooding in the north end of San Bernardino. I ask the City Council to do the right thing and not promote this area for annexation until the developer can show a responsible infrastructure for the site, and until the city has the resources to protect the residents living here. I live on West Meyers Road next to the future development. I lost my home in the 2003 Old Fire. I am concerned that our City Council is making a commitment that includes maintenance and safety they are currently unable to meet and will be unable to meet with the annexation of the 379 acres, putting the lives of residents at risk.

Richard Kaplan, San Bernardino


SoCal Edison appeasing the large energy users

It seems the main reason Edison is proposing to revamp its residential rate structure is to appease the large (residential) energy users. It uses terms like ensuring that “large usage customers aren’t paying more than their fair share” and “High-usage customers have shouldered most of new costs …,” etc. However, Edison claims the proposed change to lower the rates for high energy users, would encourage energy efficiency. Edison has its logic backwards. You are not promoting energy efficiency when you lower rates. By lowering rates, you are encouraging users to consume more. It does not do anything to discourage waste. You keep rates high so users will be wise in their energy usage to avoid wasting their hard-earned money.

Charles Blankson, Fontana

War is not the answer to a peaceful existence

Too bad that Americans are afflicted with short memories and have forgotten the Vietnam War. Has war become a habit in our collective thinking, and we can’t imagine any other solution to resolve international challenges? After 9/11, most Americans should’ve agreed to pursue terrorists as criminals, which is what they are. Instead, they endorsed military action against Afghanistan and Iraq, neither of which had anything to do with the Twin Towers attacks. And now no one wants to admit we lost the Iraq War years ago, nor that the thousands of our soldiers who lost their lives or limbs in Iraq were sacrificed needlessly. Once again, people are convinced that more blood and money will make their fantasy of victory in Iraq come true. How many more wars will it take for Americans to finally accept the truth that war is not the answer?

David Quintero, Monrovia


I E C N, Community Leaders & Water Industry Leaders are all getting behind Melody Henriques McDonald for SBVMWD Water Board

SBVMWD voters who care about controlling cost and tempering rate increases should back Melody Henriques McDonald for San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District Director Division 3

Melody is responsible for residents of the San Bernardino Valley having the most affordable water in her 23 years of water leadership at the SBVWCD and is committed to making sure our families and our businesses have the water they need to thrive that support a healthy economy.

We have no doubt Melody will be successful in keeping San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water Districts rates in line as well. Keeping all our citizens, specifically our Seniors who are on fixed incomes water rates low is top priority as is working to see our property values don’t decline.

Melody Henriques McDonald is our voice for job creation and supports projects that will bring in over 600,000 new jobs to a State that is suffering because of this drought. Melody has the endorsements of our San Bernardino/Riverside Counties Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, San Bernardino/Riverside Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, and our Committee on Political Education (COPE).

Importantly, Melody’s experience will help her navigate SBVMWD through these unprecedented times of drought.

Melody has endorsements of her fellow community members and water leaders all over this region.

Margaret Hill, Member, San Bernardino City Unified School District Board of Trustees. “Melody I know where you stand on our water issues facing us today and you are clearly the most experienced,” says Dr. Hill. Dr. Hill joins a long list of respected community leaders from across the region who are endorsing Melody.

Dr. Rob Zinn, Senior Pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Highland says “Melody I know you will speak truth to us about water”.

We’re supporting Melody Henriques McDonald for San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District Div 3.


Betty Gosney, President Board of Directors West Valley Water District, Bloomington

Alan Dyer, Board Member West Valley Water District & President Kiwanis, Rialto

Richard Corneille, President San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District, Redlands

Skip Wilson, Past President East Valley Water District, Highland

For more information on Melody, water in California, and a complete list of endorsements visit:

www.MelodyMcDonald.com   call Melody @ (909) 499-5175 or email Melody4Water@gmail.com


Vote Summer Zamora Jorrin, District 2

Along with my family, friends, and neighbors, I am voting for Summer Zamora Jorrin as our next District 2 council member and I urge everyone to join us. I like that she is a younger candidate and has the energy to be a responsive and active council member. As a lifelong resident, I feel our city needs new people in office and not the same elected officials that have already served for decades. In order to move our city on the right path and progress we need fresh faces and different ideas. The fact that she personally knocked on our door to introduce herself and answer our questions is encouraging to me. Usually we are only left information by campaign workers and never meet the candidate directly, but I’ve frequently seen her walking in our district and talking to residents for weeks. Finally, I was encouraged to learn that she has been endorsed by Colton’s General Unit Employees, the Colton Fire Association and the Sun Newspaper’s Editorial Board. This makes me even more confident that I will make the best choice to represent my family when I vote to elect Summer Zamora Jorrin for City Council District 2.

Nicole Ramirez, Lifelong Colton Resident

Voting for Baca and Hirtz

Deeds and actions speak louder than words, therefore I am “Voting for Councilmembers Lynn Hirtz and Joe Baca, Jr. . They both have character, integrity and a total commitment to the Residents and the City of Rialto. They also have the endorsement and support of the Rialto Police Benefit Assn. and the Rialto Firefighters. For the first time in years we have a Valid City Balanced Budget. Lynn is an experienced business woman, and with her husband Dan they have had a successful Lawnmower center for 44 years in Rialto. Joe is a Rialto native and family man. He is a Rialto High School teacher and involved with all the sports activities and a coach. He helped to start the Rialto Sports Hall of Fame. They both attend and participate at the events in Rialto. Let us vote on November 4 and elect Lynn and Joe, so our City can continue going forward in our quest for a stronger Rialto.

Greta Hodges Rialto, CA

Vote wisely in Colton on November 4

So Mr. Gonzales wants us to believe his campaign statements when he says he “Abolished the utility tax”. Sorry, NOT TRUE! Gonzales was not even on the council when that happened. In fact, his opponent for mayor, Mr. DeLaRosa, cast the deciding vote to kill this tax when he was sitting on the Council. “Return financial stability”, again I don’t believe that to be true. How can it be when Mr. Gonzales just voted for the current budget with a $1.8 MILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT! Doesn’t sound like financial stability to me! Then he states “Lowered utility rates 10%”. Add all the reductions that have occurred since Mr. Gonzales has been on the council and you get about 5.6% reduction for some, higher rates for others. Not such a good deal. And he failed to mention that he voted to approve additional pass through money from the electric department to the city to spend as it pleased. This money if left in the electric dept. could have resulted in lower rates for everyone! Last, I have taken a close look at who has contributed money to Mr. Gonzales campaign. Very little has come from local residents, but tens of thousands of dollars from outside, special interests. Most distressing of all is the $10,000.00 plus he has received from several Los Angeles area companies who is managed and/or governed by Allan Steward who was convicted along with several other then current or past Colton Mayors or Council Members for bribery. Why is Mr. Gonzales now accepting large amounts of money from this persons companies? We don’t need any more scandals in Colton. And didn’t Mr. Gonzales ever learn that you are judged by the company you keep? Doesn’t look very good from my point of view! Misleading statements and questionable money contributions. Colton does not need to take chances on its future. Please vote wisely on November 04, 2014.

Steven Cade Colton, Ca

The Heart and Soul Mayoral Race of Colton

Two hometown candidates are putting fourth every effort to win the 2014 Colton mayoral election. Both have great experience and knowledge of Colton politics. These two candidates bring forth their ideas for Colton’s future, some new and some old. Candidate De La Rosa, age 50, and candidate Gonzalez, age79, are not going to see things eye to eye, and for the better of the community the right candidate must be elected for the job. We need growth, fresh ideas, and old-issues resolved, Councilman Gonzales speaks of having the power, but doesn’t place his statement on any specific agenda for the good of the city. Candidate De La Rosa continually puts forth the statement that he works for the people of Colton “the residents”, listening to and acting upon their needs and concerns. Both candidates have 12 years plus direct involvement in Colton politics. However, we need a candidate with an impact on Colton’s needs. We don’t need a “GODFATHER”, we need a mayor that listens and that’s not intimidating. We need one that takes orders, not gives them. We need someone who will ask, listen and act with a sincere heart, not consumed by just having the “POWER”. Which of these candidates will do this for our community, our City? Which one clearly has the vitality, wisdom, and sincere leadership to do the job for the people? So I ask my community of 68 years to pull together and make the choice on November 4, 2014. Our youth are counting on us to responsibly choose the right candidate so that our city can grow in a positive direction, persevere, and create a solid foundation for their future!

Carmelita Gonzalez, Lifelong Colton Resident

“who is who” – for the Mayor of Colton

Five prominent advocate council members and the current mayor of Colton all support, endorse and back-up candidate Richard De La Rosa in the 2014 mayoral election. They feel that Richard is the man for the job. With only two weeks left until Election Day it is vital to know who your candidates really are. For instance, in the October 16th issue of a local newspaper, Frank Gonzales is quoted stating “it’s totally wrong, making allegations that are totally false.” He stated this regarding the wrong doing of misappropriation of public funds, which he was allegedly accused of. Mr. Gonzales being hypocritical did the same thing to candidate Richard De La Rosa regarding a meeting that took place at Denny’s restaurant in Colton back in July of 2013. Mr. Gonzales wrongfully accuses candidate Richard De La Rosa of being a part of “…a deliberate conspiracy on their part to try and hurt my campaign, period, because I wouldn’t go along with their conspiracy to get the votes.” However this meeting consisted of members of the Colton City Council, residents, business owners, and not only the individuals of Colton First who always have great concerns for the city of Colton. This meeting was brought together due to the concerns for the cities progress and the upcoming mayoral election. It took place to find out where we stood as collective and concerned individuals for the betterment of the city and its future. At the end of the meeting Mr. Gonzales was visually upset because of the request of the city council and other attendees of the meeting encouraging him to remain running for his district, which would therefore bring, for the first time in history, a fully united city council with the mayor being a unanimous choice and that mayor being candidate Richard De La Rosa. Mr. Gonzales angrily blurted out, verbatim ” No, I want the power!” His mind was made up and his decision was made with no concerns over the fact that if he were to win, it would be without the support of the entire city council. There is no truth to any conspiracy or that candidate De La Rosa has anything to do with Colton First. Candidate De La Rosa does not need anyone but the residents of Colton to base his decisions on. Candidate De La Rosa has proven to be fair, direct, and a man of integrity, a twelve-year veteran of Colton politics with a track record of progress. Running for mayor is a huge undertaking, which requires deep forethought with joining forces. At the end of the day those forces turned out to be five members of the city council and the current mayor in full support of candidate Richard De La Rosa. Frank Gonzales was a decent mayor but not a powerful one. Colton NEEDS strength, intense activity and a fresh, new out-look with resolution to the existing prevalent issues within the city. Candidate De La Rosa can resolve issues and give the driving force the city needs. Do your homework and make our Colton a town to be proud of. Choose the right candidate to make a difference.

Mrs. Henoveva Guadalupe Colton, CA

Fall: It’s all about Oktoberfest and haunts

Yazmin Alvarez

It’s the middle of October and you’re thinking, what’s there to do?

Well, have I got the answer for you.

I’m going to keep it simple:

Oktoberfest at the Fairplex in Pomona ;The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor and Knott’s Scary Farm.

First, let’s talk beer.

Oktoberfest at the Fairplex is far from the bro-filled beer-fest these events are usually tapped with. Of course, you have your usual annoying few, but overall this was just a huge Bavarian music, German food and chicken dance filled good time.

Muscle up to chug down the crisp Oktoberfest brew and take your chances at the stein holding competition for both men and women.Not as easy at it looks – trust.

Now moving on to the scary. The, “I should have brought a change of pants” kind of scary.

I’m talking about the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor.

Let me just be honest here. I had fear tears in one of the mazes. I was genuinely freaked. Yea sure, I’m a chicken but this was a different kind of scared. Like, I felt uneasy scared.

Good, right?

There are three mazes that actually take place on the ship which, explains my uneasiness. And I’m only going to talk about one. The one that gave me the gut feeling to vomit because it scared my pants off.

That’s “B340.”

This maze takes you through the bowels of the haunted ship. You literally get the smell of horror. You walk through hallways of loose body parts and end up in the bloodied room of Samuel the Savage and a half-eaten body. Doesn’t sound too creepy, right? Well, I think all the legends and haunts that come with the ship itself offer up a good scare.


With a few brand new mazes like Voodoo and The Tooth Fairy and the much talked about Special Ops: Infected Zombie shooting experience along with some favorites like the return of Elvira – the legendary Mistress of the Dark.

First, shooting zombies.

You get to arm yourself with specially designed laser guns to hunt zombies throughout six-acres of the park. You get paired up in a group, and are led by a Squad Leader – a loud mouthed, take-no-prisoners commander charged with turning you into a soldier. But don’t take your time here, you’re on the clock and screaming, dragging their body zombies are after you. It’s lazer tag on roids basically.

Now the new mazes.

Voodoo: Trudge cautiously through the cursed swamps of the Deep South and some bloody sacrifices and demons curss. In this maze, you create your own path.

Instead of making your way through narrow pathways, you’re dumped into a southern swamp with forks in the road that lead you to voodoo rituals and other experiences.

A tip: start the night here. By the time the park was closing the line was still wrapped around.

The Tooth Fairy: Yes, exactly what it sounds like but this tooth fairy is a deranged dentist.

Some special effects in this maze include a blackout room where you have to feel your way out and then you’re guided by a disorienting x-ray strobe light room. If you’re afraid of the dentist, well, here’s your chance to face your fears and say, “aahhh.”

Now for Elvira. In her new show she becomes the Ring-Mistress of the Park as she hosts a circus carnival of macabre freaks and sinister side show acts. This show is not for those with a sensitive stomach. Balloons in places, humans bending in ways and swords… long sharp swords being ingested. Suk it up and check it out, it’s worth it.

Oktoberfest at the Fairplex: Friday-Sunday now through Oct. 26. Ticket info: www.oktoberfestatfairplex.com

The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor: Now through Oct. 2. Ticket info: www.queenmary.com

Knott’s Scary Farm: Now through Nov. 1. Ticket info: www.knotts.com


Vote Yes on Measures Q and R

Recently San Bernardino votes received the flyer from the “Citizens Against Measure Q,” paid for by the San Bernardino City Firefighters’ Union PAC. This document is filled with untruths and innuendos that need to be clarified. One glaring example is that Wildwood Park and the controversial plans for it have NOTHING to do with Measure Q. Measures Q and R were put on the ballot after lengthy discussion by a citizens committee appointed to analyze the 46-page San Bernardino City Charter, and to recommend changes that would begin to make a difference in the financial hemorrhaging of our city. Both of the measures which were eventually put on the ballot by the City Council have financial implications. Measure Q would replace the provisions of Section 186 of the City Charter with language providing for salaries of safety personnel to be set by collective bargaining, as are the salaries of all other city employees. Why should one group of employees have the advantage of automatic salary adjustments? All other city employees, such as those who work in the offices, the streets, the libraries and the parks negotiate through their unions for changes in their salaries. As most of us know, that is what collective bargaining is all about. It is unfair for safety employees to have the special privileges that Section 186 provides them. Section 186 is unusual in its specificity giving actual steps, classifications and salary schedules. No other city, including those which are used by the safety unions to establish average salaries as required by 186, has such specificity in its charter—in all cases, the salaries are negotiated through collective bargaining. San Bernardino cannot afford Section 186, which ties the hands of those we elect to provide services of all kinds for the citizens of the city. As an example, Section 186 has resulted through the years in exorbitant salaries for our firefighters. The top 40% make an average of $190,000 per year; the next 40% make an average of $166,000 per year. We must begin to get our city through bankruptcy and on the road to providing the services that are expected of an “All-America” city. Vote yes on Measures Q and R.

Dorothy Garcia, San Bernardino

Regurgitated City Elections

As Election Day, November 4th quickly approaches, the campaign signs come out. Not to my surprise, we see the regurgitated names of individuals running for council positions that they either currently hold, have held in the past. Current and ex council members are now running for Mayor, (DeLaRosa, and Gonzalez). District representatives that are going unopposed as if they’ve done such an outstanding job in this city that no one could match their performance, (Toro)……really? It’s no wonder this city continues down the same pathetic path year after year. How can anyone expect the status quo to change if we continue putting the same people in office that contributed to the cities decline in the first place? Budget inconsistencies, going through city managers like a revolving door, no accountability and exorbitant electric rates have become common place along with a declining downtown area with multiple vacant businesses with blank signs seen from the freeway. Nothing will ever change unless we bring new faces, new blood and fresh ideas into the council seats. Unfortunately I don’t see that happening any time soon. Colton will wake up November 5th to the same old same old. Well, at least the city will save money by not having to purchase new name plates for the council seats. Hey Citizens for Colton First, you clearly made your voice heard in support of the Mayor Chastain recall attempt and eventual election loss. Where are your voices now? Satisfied with the status quo?

Gary B. Leibelt Colton

Please join me and VOTE YES ON PROPOSITIONS ” Q” and ” R”

San Bernardino’s City Charter needs to be simplified. Reduce it from 45 pages to a more reasonable 10 or 12. The Charter should be easy to Understand, yet allow enough flexibility that future generations can adjust for the needs of their times. Proposition Q will change Section 186. Section 186 mandates police and firefighter salaries to be the average of 10 like-sized cities. San Bernardino does not have the wealth of 10 Jike-sized cities. Average household income for citizens of SB is $40,000, far below that of the other ten cities. San Bernardino is also in bankruptcy. IF Section 186 were changed, police and fire pay will be set by collective bargaining, as is done for other city employees. This would allow City Management an opportunity to exercise good judgment over a significant portion of the budget. Safety employees currently take approximately 70% of the budget. This leaves very little for streetlights, pothole repair, parks and other city services. Why are the safety unions fearful of periodic collective bargaining? Proposition R would remove Section 254, the requirement that terminated employees continue to be paid until they have an opportunity for the Civil Service Board to hear an appeal. Terminated employees can still recoup lost wages IF they convince the Board they were wrongfully terminated. (If the employee was not wrongfully terminated, the City has given away money it can never recoup.) I again urge you to VOTE YES ON PROPOSITIONS Q AND R. Our future and the tate of this City may depend on it.

Thank you, Linda, Daniels San Bernardino

San Bernardino city should be more open to the arts

By Anthony Victoria

Gloomy San Bernardino. Where is the love?

The love for art, I mean. Art is most likely not on the city council’s priority list, considering that they are up against a bankruptcy and two giant public employee unions at the moment. However as a resident and fervent supporter of the arts, I encourage some of our councilmembers and Mayor to put more attention into creating an art culture for our city’s youth.

In a modern society where activities like reading and writing are no longer commonplace for youth, it is important we look for alternatives to help stimulate their minds. It can help community leaders instill a sense of pride among the city’s most troubled youth.

One form of art that is always frowned upon by the public is graffiti due to it being so closely associated with gang culture. That may be a huge issue as we move forward into our post-bankruptcy stage. When a person is so adamant that this form of art brings nothing but negativity, it eliminates any hope of free expression.

Imagine the different murals that can be created that highlight the city’s historic contributions. I think it’s time we see a little color in downtown. Our city leaders have a vision that entails having a great commercial hub in the heart of our city. What difference will it make if no one is there to experience it?

Realistically, beside the sporadic murals that have been painted at community centers and at Perris Hill Park by local community organizers, there is nothing happening that helps attract young artists to San Bernardino. Many travel to Redlands and Riverside to enjoy their art walks, and some may indulge in mural projects in other far-away locations.

If you visit cities like New York, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles, you will notice colorful, vibrant murals that depict the rich culture that thrive in those communities.

For example, Chicano Park, which is located in the Logan Heights community in San Diego, is christened with murals and other memorabilia that commemorates Mexican-American (or Chicano) culture. In fact, the park also has sculptures, earthworks, and an architectural piece dedicated to the community’s cultural heritage.

In San Bernardino, where many migrants from diverse backgrounds settled to work in the rail yards of the Santa Fe and Union Pacific, work in the orange groves, the home of the first McDonald’s restaurant and where many young adults rode in their top-down cars through Mt. Vernon into Route 66, there is nothing of that kind. The closest thing to it is the 1977 All-America City mural that residents see as they are speeding down the E. St. corridor in the city’s north end.

It’s important that we take the time to celebrate our community’s accomplishments, and what better way to do that by allowing artists to showcase their talents. Some of these walls, like our city, are like blank canvases. If we are to become a great big hub for business development, we should also embrace the artists who can provide us with a little joy through the power of art.

The San Bernardino Art Commission is holding a meeting on Tuesday October 14 at 4PM at City Hall. If you are a fervent supporter of the arts like myself, I encourage you to speak out.

Anthony Victoria is a community writer for the Inland Empire Community Newspaper Group and can be reached at avictoria@iecn.com or at (909) 381-9898 Ext. 208

Breaking All the Records

Most of us have just begun to notice the lawn signs and radio ads for candidates this campaign season. Despite the fact that many of us are only beginning to realize we’re in the middle of campaign season, it was recently noted that outside spending is already at the highest rate of any midterm election ever. I’m sure we will continue to see more ads as Election Day nears. More attacks from the left and the right, and from wealthy interest groups . My question is: Are we better off with this much money? Is the debate more intelligent? Is there more information out there? Is our democracy better off? I would argue we’re not, on any account. Instead, we’re paying a price as corporate interests and wealthy individuals shape the debate, decide what our elections are about, and dictate who our politicians actually work for. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/outside-spending-eclipses-past-midterms/

Jeff Green

PWAP Field Organizer

Support those who care about San Bernardino

With all the negativity in San Bernardino, there is still hope. There are many residents and business owners who make that extra effort to do the positive. Tony Canul and his family own Molly’s Cafe on Court and D streets. It is not just a place that has superior food and great service, but a meeting place for business people and residents. Tony has donated a lot of money to help the Route 66 Rendevous, juvenile diabetes car shows, Veterans Day parade and many others. It’s also great to see the American flag hanging out front every morning. There are others, like Albert Okura, owner of Juan Pollo and the Original McDonald’s Museum on 14th and E streets, who, with help of Danny Castro every year puts on the Veterans Day parade car show, and honors every veteran there. Also, Steve Shaw, Allen Bone, Nick Cataldo, John Weeks and all the people who volunteer with the San Bernardino Historical Society and Santa Fe Depot Museum. No forgetting all the police, firefighters and doctors. Please help in any way to support those who are making the extra effort to help and care about San Bernardino.

Steve Portias, San Bernardino

Route 66 event not a money-maker?

I recently read where a Route 66 event gave the city of Ontario a $22 million boost to its economy. The event drew more than 70 vendors, and over 200,000 people attended. Why, then, when Route 66 Rendezvous was here in the San Bernardino area, didn’t we ever know how much the city took in from this event? Where did the money go? Into whose pocket? You can’t tell me that the city of San Bernardino didn’t make money. Let’s get real. Why didn’t the city post how much was made each year?

Norma Nash, San Bernardino

Raise rates, but don’t add to state’s bureaucracy

We know that increasing the price of water will reduce usage, so it makes sense to increase water rates. But creating a bureaucracy to collect data to decide how much water to allocate to individuals is not only intrusive, it’s also fraught with unintended consequences and it’s unfair. All equally numbered households are not alike in necessary water usage. Some individuals work out of their home, some travel a lot and are rarely home. Some families have lots of overnight company, others have none. Some grandparents take care of grandchildren during the day, some don’t. Some people have second homes or travel a lot, some are home all year. Some have special medical needs, others shower daily at the gym. There will always be special circumstances. Do we really want a growing intrusive water bureaucracy to handle all the circumstances? The best way is the simplest: Raise the rates evenly. When they get high enough, technology will find a way to supply all the water we need.

Patricia Bourdeau, Pasadena 

Make same rules for all

This is the greatest con upon the people of California yet. Money counts — lots of it. Check out your neighbors. Do you see them cutting down on water? How about the city, county, state? Parks, golf courses, schools all need to have water controlled. Like everything else, those with the most dollars have the power, but the true needed dollars come from those who can least afford it. The laws regarding water use in this state need to be implemented and enforced. You could be liable for fines of up to $500 a day for going against those new restrictions. Yet a fine of $500 means nothing to many users. I’m all for following a law. However, there must be a law to follow. I’m willing to have all my lawns die to conserve water until we get normal rainfall, but so must all my neighbors and the city and state.

Bill Noyes, Walnut

B.Y.O.B – California bans plastic bags

By Yazmin Alvarez

Headed to the grocery store?

Pack your bags.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores in a move to cut down on litter damaging to the environment.

“This bill is a step in the right direction — it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself,” Brown said in a signing statement. “We’re the first to ban these bags, and we won’t be the last.”

Under SB270, plastic bags will no longer be offered for free at checkout counters at large grocery stores and supermarkets such as Wal-Mart and Target along with pharmacies starting July 2015. It allows grocers to charge a fee of at least 10 cents for reusable plastic bags or recycled paper bags.

Eventually, bags will be phased out at convenience stores and liquor stores in 2016.

The law, however, does not apply to plastic bags used for fruits, vegetables or meats, or to non-food retailers such as clothing and electronics shops.
SB270 also limits how grocers can spend the proceeds from the charges and requires stores to provide free bags to people who are on public assistance, according to a news release issued by the Office of the Governor.

The legislation, authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), will also provide up to $2 million in competitive loans – administered by CalRecycle – to businesses transitioning to the manufacture of reusable bags, the statement said.

The bill’s author Sen. Alex Padilla says existing bans show that consumers quickly adapt and that the paper bag fees will not be very lucrative for grocers. Though California may be the first state to ban plastic bags, more than 100 cities and counties –including Los Angeles and San Francisco– already have bans in place.

Because of these existing bans, consumers will be quick to adapt to the new legislation, said Padilla in the statement.
While the new law is an effort to reduce the stream of plastic film that winds up in waterways and landfills from the bags, it does not come welcome by bag manufacturers.

The American Progressive Bag Alliance, a coalition of plastic bag manufacturers, says it will seek a voter referendum to overturn California’s law. The group has three months to gather more than 500,000 valid signatures, the number needed to place a referendum on the November 2016 ballot. The group says it will push to make sure the law does not take effect until voters have a say.

“It would jeopardize thousands of California manufacturing jobs, hurt the environment, and fleece consumers for billions so grocery store shareholders and their union partners can line their pockets,” the American Progressive Bag Alliance said in a statement.

For those concerned with being charged the 10 cent fee for a paper or plastic bag, the solution is simple: Bring your own reusable bag.
The other option is to bring a backpack or box while shopping, a similar solution wholesale stores offer at checkout.

SB270 at a glance:

•Plastic bags are only banned at check-outs at grocery stores, pharmacies and supermarkets including Target and Walmart.
•The ban does not apply to non-food shops like clothing and electronics stores.
•The ban does not apply to plastic bags used for produce and meats.
•The new law will take effect July 2015.
•The ban will expand to smaller businesses such as convenience stores and liquor stores in 2016.

Tank farm tax will generate revenue for city of Rialto

As a resident of Rialto for 25 years, I’ve witnessed and appreciated the difficulty the city has faced in managing its finances in recent years. The recession was brutal. The loss of state redevelopment funding did not help, either. It’s why last year I voted to support an extension of our utility-users tax, even though I certainly could have used the money myself. It’s a sacrifice a community is willing to make to maintain the level of services we have come to expect of our city.

Now it’s time for the billion-dollar oil and gas companies that use our tank farm in Rialto to pay their share.

Measure U, the tank farm tax, will generate $10 million a year for the city, lower our utility taxes by 2 percent and provide us with the economic wherewithal we need as a city to move forward. I love Rialto. I believe in its future. Join with me. Vote yes on U.

Judy Roberts

Deal with crime in SB at ground level

Seems that “law” means nothing any longer, especially in San Bernardino.

Two months ago San Bernardino said it would make a stand to displace the homeless who are sleeping on business porches, sidewalks, parked cars and old trailers on the streets. That lasted two days at the most. Every morning the restaurant I go to has to argue with these folks sleeping in the patrons’ chairs and on the porch before they open up their doors.

Then we said any transient caught stealing a $350 shopping cart from retail stores to wheel around their belongings would be dealt with. Seems nothing has happened. Wonder what would happen if I walked into a grocery store and walked out with $350 in steaks?

Crime in San Bernardino needs to start being dealt with at the ground level. The number of those thinking they can do whatever they want with no repercussion is out of hand and has turned San Bernardino into a cesspool.

Steve Portias 
San Bernardino

Debt an unnecessary disaster

In the story of the “Pied Piper of Hamelin,” a swarm of rats were enchanted by the beautiful sound of a piper and followed him out of town to drown in the ocean. When the mayor refused to pay the agreed upon fee, the piper repeated the process but this time with the town’s children. An unnecessary disaster based upon greed.

Today, that sweet sound is the pitch of the GOP with their “no taxes” tune. Let’s look at some of those Republican governors. In 2011, Texas was in a $27 billion crisis. It has the highest percentage of uninsured people in the nation. Texas is 49th in school spending. Texas’ unemployment rate is higher than the national average.

Other GOP governors: New Jersey’s Chris Christie has a gaping shortfall in the budget of $2 billion. The state’s credit rating has been downgraded seven times. Where will the money come from?

Meanwhile, Kansas (Gov. Sam Brownback) is drowning in debt and the schools are failing. The people are suffering so much that Republicans are voting against him in November.

North Carolina (Gov. Pat McCrory) is currently $300 million in debt. They are projected to reach a half-billion dollars of indebtedness next year when tax cuts go into effect.

There are more failed trickle-down GOP governors, but space prohibits their mention. Business follows the no taxes tune and the people end up drowning in debt. An unnecessary disaster based upon greed.

Felix Sepulveda
San Bernardino

Aguilar will get the job done

Getting a college education isn’t just an important milestone or something we do to make ourselves more well-rounded. It’s a necessity in today’s economy to get a good paying job to support yourself. And if you’re like myself, and the millions of college-aged Americans who are looking for grants and taking out loans, it can be expensive — sometimes prohibitively so.

Paying off my student loans is a constant worry for me. It’s scary to think that even now, while I’m still in school, my loans are gaining interest and my fees will be much larger once I graduate. And if I need a graduate education for the job I want, that just means even more student loans and more debt.

Making sure that college is accessible and student loans affordable needs to be a priority for politicians.

In choosing my next congressman, I trust Pete Aguilar to stand up for students and support his plan to reform our education system. He is the only candidate who I hear talking about this issue. He is the only one who will fight for me in Congress.

Chelsea Glynn

California State University is right for standing up for victims of sexual violence

Anthony Victoria

College is a time for adolescents and young adults to venture into a world that’s filled with the dynamism of our nation’s future leaders. However, the college experience can also be a stressful time, a difficult time, especially for those who are and have been victims of sexual violence. California could become the national model to stem such conflict. The California State University– the largest in the United States – announced on September 23 that it will appoint advocates for victims of sexual assault on all 23 of its campuses and I believe it is a step in the right direction. Our state’s top universities, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and USC are among numerous institutions around the nation who have been abysmal when dealing with sexual cases. As a result, the federal government is now conducting investigations at these campuses. The CSU’s decision to provide a support system couldn’t have came at a better time. One in five women are raped during their lifetime, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, with 40 percent of women reporting that the assaults occurred during their time in college. Imagine if your sister, your daughter, or your wife were to be a victim of rape in a place that is supposed to encourage diversity and integrity? But it’s not only limited to women. Men can be victims too. And when these people undergo so much vulnerability and struggle with self-conscious issues, it becomes difficult for them to report this to administration. Which is why it’s a wise move to bring in people who have empathy and the strength to support them in their time of need. By having a trained, designated victim advocate on campus, victims of sexual violence can learn about different options for reporting and learn about the various resources available in their community. The benefits may sound clear. However, there is a potential negative effect this decision could have if it’s not approached correctly. It’s important that these advocates stay firm and strong in their willingness to do the right thing. Administrative pressures can hinder progress that a victim undertakes due to the fear of retaliation, but it shouldn’t be an issue‒especially if you have public servants advocating for the same thing. Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Susan Davis, who this summer authored a bill that would require all U.S. colleges and universities that receive federal funding to enact similar measures, praised the CSU in a press release and expressed that others should follow suit. “I hope this trend will continue on university campuses across the nation,” said Representative Davis in the statement. As U.S. president Barack Obama expressed last week through a new initiative, “It’s on Us”. It’s up to us to hold people accountable and not look the other way. Perhaps it is time that we become advocates ourselves and condemn these continuing acts of sexual violence and abuse.

Anthony Victoria is a community writer for the Inland Empire Community Newspaper Group and can be reached at avictoria@iecn.com or at (909) 381-9898 Ext. 208

Disappointed in Colton Councilmember

At the 16 Sept. 2014 Colton council meeting, during public comment, I was dismayed to hear some disparaging news about one of our council members. Colton’s representative at the Omni-Trans and IVDA meetings is Councilman Frank Gonzales. It was reported that the councilman was late in attending the last 12 of the 12 Omni-Trans meetings, being so late at one, that the meeting was adjourned as he arrived on July 10th. Checking the minutes of the last 12 meeting showed his being late was recorded, as required by the Brown Act. Receiving a $125.00 stipend for each meeting does not seem earned. His attendance records at the IVDA meetings are almost as bad. Four occasions he was on time but was late five times and was absent three times. In my opinion, this is an embarrassment to the city of Colton. He is supposed to represent the interests of Colton but can’t make it to meetings on time and in some cases not show at all. Councilman Gonzales should have been replaced, as our representative, a long time ago, by a council member who has more of an interest in his ancillary duties for the city.

Ronald H. Lawrence

Colton, Ca.

Vote yes on both San Bernardino measures

Why would a group, the vast majority of whom are not residents of San Bernardino, be spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours putting up signs all over town urging San Bernardino voters to reject Measure Q, a repeal of San Bernardino Charter section 186 which sets public safety pay. Do they care more about San Bernardino than their own towns? Do they have nothing better to do with their time and money than to meddle in San Bernardino politics? No, they are people trying to protect their personal financial interests in San Bernardino’s present Charter section 186. Vote yes on Measures Q and R to help San Bernardino deal with its terrible financial situation, get out of bankruptcy, and move forward with a more businesslike City Charter to becoming a more prosperous, efficient, modern city.

Lynda K. Savage,

San Bernardino

Actually, kids need to be spanked sometimes

What kind of world are we living in? My dad was as “real” a man as you could ever find. And yes, he did take a switch to my brother and me on occasion. We deserved it every time he did it. He didn’t “beat” us, but yes, he did leave some welts. I think we turned out pretty well. In my opinion, this country started going to hell when we stopped disciplining our kids. Give them a “time-out”? Give me a break. In 1953, my fifth-grade teacher had a paddle hanging beside her blackboard and she knew how to use it. Did we back-talk her? Absolutely not. We learned not to sass our parents and we respected our law-enforcement officers, too! Now you can be tossed in jail if you raise a hand against your child and they know it. Ask anyone who grew up in the 1940s or 1950s if children were better behaved then or now. Ask any teacher. Most children are out of hand and there’s no way we can stop it. We are not preparing them for life. If the letter writer never had to spank his kids, maybe he was blessed with some very angelic children. I wasn’t and most other people aren’t, either. All you have to do is walk through a jail or prison to see that. It wasn’t that way in the “good ol’ days.”

Redgie Snodgrass,


Greed breeds unnecessary disasters

In the story of the “Pied Piper of Hamelin,” a swarm of rats were enchanted by the beautiful sound of a piper and followed him out of town to drown in the ocean. When the mayor refused to pay the agreed upon fee, the piper repeated the process but this time with the town’s children. An unnecessary disaster based upon greed. Today, that sweet sound is the pitch of the GOP with their “no taxes” tune. Let’s look at some of those Republican governors. In 2011, Texas was in a $27 billion crisis. It has the highest percentage of uninsured people in the nation. Texas is 49th in school spending. Texas’ unemployment rate is higher than the national average. Other GOP governors: New Jersey’s Chris Christie has a gaping shortfall in the budget of $2 billion. The state’s credit rating has been downgraded seven times. Where will the money come from? Meanwhile, Kansas (Gov. Sam Brownback) is drowning in debt and the schools are failing. The people are suffering so much that Republicans are voting against him in November. North Carolina (Gov. Pat McCrory) is currently $300 million in debt. They are projected to reach a half-billion dollars of indebtedness next year when tax cuts go into effect. There are more failed trickle-down GOP governors, but space prohibits their mention. Business follows the no taxes tune and the people end up drowning in debt. An unnecessary disaster based upon greed.

Felix Sepulveda,

San Bernardino


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